Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Notorious French gangster flees prison in daring helicopter escape

Redoine Faid Redoine Faid
Patty Aguilar | 03 July, 2018, 13:02

Like a scene straight out of a Hollywood flick, gangster Redoine Faid, 46, pulled off a prison break on Sunday when he fled from a prison near Paris in a hijacked helicopter.

The courtyard that they landed the helicopter in is the only one in Réau that doesn't have helicopter nets on it. Helicopter escapes from prisons in France were relatively common up until the late 2000s.

A court sketch of French armed robber Redoine Faid at a February 2018 session of his trial in Paris over the 2010 death of a French police officer.

It was the second time he had escaped from a French prison - the last time he blasted his way out with hidden explosives.

Faid briefly took four guards hostage with a pistol before escaping in a getaway auto but was recaptured six weeks later at a hotel on the outskirts of Paris.

But his stiffest sentence came this year, when he was sentenced to 25 years over a botched 2010 robbery in which policewoman Aurelie Fouquet was killed.

One inmate, Pascal Payet, used a helicopter for three separate prison escapes, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Three accomplices, who reportedly had Kalashnikovs, extracted Redoine Faïd from the Seine-et-Marne prison on Sunday.

They then managed to whisk him away in a helicopter parked in a nearby school yard, according to French media.

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Top French criminal Redoine Faid escapes prison by helicopter
Before that incident, Faid had been released from prison after convincing the parole board that he renounced his criminal past. In his 2013 jailbreak, he briefly took four guards hostage with a pistol before escaping in a waiting getaway vehicle .

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After the helicopter that flew Faid out of jail was set on fire, its occupants fled by vehicle in a black Renault Megane which they later dumped in the underground auto park of a shopping centre near the airport.

France's Justice Ministry says a Frenchman convicted of murder has escaped from prison using a helicopter.

The three accomplices successfully helped Faid escape and later landed the aircraft 37 miles from the prison before setting it alight and fleeing in a black Renault vehicle. He was later released, in shock but with no physical injuries.

He's been locked up since a 2010 cash-transport van robbery that planned and executed.

When the chopper arrived, Faid was meeting with his brother in the visiting room.

Investigators are looking into whether Faid, who had been at the Reau prison since November, had inside help.

Faid, who grew up in tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris, has made several television appearances and co-authored two books about his delinquent youth and rise as a criminal in the Paris suburbs.

Although he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for these activities, he was released on parole after 10 years.

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