March 20, 2019

French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

02 July 2018, 11:42 | Devin Moran

Notorious gangster in helicopter prison break

1 2018 in Aulnay-sous-Bois north of Paris shows a car abandoned by French armed robber Redoine Faid at parking in a O’Parinor shopping mall after his escape onboard a helicopter from a prison in Reau. (GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSE

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

Faid escaped from the prison in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, on Sunday after two or three heavily armed men hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to fly to help him escape.

"An armed commando group landed in the courtyard of the Sud-Francilien prison in Reau while he was in the visitors' room", the authority said.

A police manhunt has since been launched across the entire Paris region - with the aircraft later found in Gonesse, north of Paris.

In 2013, he became the country's most-wanted criminal after he blasted his way out of another prison using dynamite.

He was recaptured six weeks later at a hotel on the outskirts of Paris.

Faid was serving a 25-year prison sentence for a 2010 failed robbery in which a 26-year-old municipal police officer was killed.

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.

In this photo dated November 22, 2010, notorious French criminal Redoine Faid poses prior to an interview with French all-news TV channel, LCI, as he was promoting his book, in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, France. Faid's other hero is Jacques Mesrine, the most celebrated French criminal of modern times.

She suggested that leaving Faid in the same prison for "a few months" had been a mistake.

Earlier Sunday, Faid's associates had taken a helicopter pilot hostage at a nearby flight school, forcing him to fly to the prison, the BBC reported.

Belloubet said that leaving Faid in the same prison after his previous escape five years ago was a mistake. Once in the prison they found their man whilst one gunman stayed with the helicopter in the yard, before making off in the same fashion.

They were then picked up in a black Renault vehicle before switching to a white van.

He approached film director Michael Mann at a Paris film festival in 2009, telling Mann, "You were my technical adviser".

According to the BBC, Faid has said his lifestyle was inspired by Hollywood gangster films, including "Scarface".

In 1998, he attacked a cash-in-transit van in the northeaster Paris suburb of Villepinte and was sentenced to 18 years of behind bars.

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