Notorious French gangster escapes from prison in a helicopter

Jul 04, 2018, 16:18
Notorious French gangster escapes from prison in a helicopter

Faid's brother, who had been with him in the prison's visiting room when the gunmen broke in and was held for questioning until Monday, said he had known nothing about the escape plan.

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.

Prison wardens had called for netting to be installed over the yard, but the minister said the reason it was not done was because convicts were not usually allowed into it.

Faid was believed to have left by auto along with his accomplices. Faid was on the run for six weeks before he was found in a hotel room and taken back into custody.

This is the second time Faid has made a daring escape from prison.

Faid said his life of crime was inspired by films such as Scarface, and has co-authored two books about his time in gangs in the suburbs of Paris.

According to ABC, Faid is known as a career criminal, now serving a sentence for attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a auto chase and a shootout with police, killing 26-year-old officer Aurelie Fouquet.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said authorities are urgently looking for gaps in the security system that would have allowed the brazen break-out.

Stephane Buy, an experienced pilot and instructor, told RTL radio on Wednesday that two men at a flying club near Paris forced him to take off Sunday at gunpoint. The helicopter was found burned out. At that time he used four guards as human shields and explosives that were hidden in a tissue box to blow out prison gates.

"He liked adrenalin and wanted to be like the big guys", a police officer said.

He himself also claimed to have studied heist movies, learning to plan his robberies meticulously, operate in small teams and disguise himself. "Take away the [lessons taught by] cinema and you would have 50 percent less crime", he once told Michael Mann, the director of Heat (1995), his favourite film.

Notorious jailbreaking French criminal Redoine Faid in 2010.

In 2017 he was sentenced to 10 years over the escape, which earned him a cult following in the tough suburbs where he grew up, and 18 years for an attack on an armored vehicle in 2011.

Still, he was the suspected mastermind of an attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a high-speed chase and a shootout with police in which 26-year-old policewoman Aurelie Fouquet was killed.

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