A notorious French gangster has escaped a Paris prison by helicopter with the help of ‘three armed men’ on hand to help him break out.
Career criminal, Redoine Faid, broke out of the prison in Reau in the Parisian southeastern suburbs ‘within minutes’, according to reports.
Faid, 46, is serving a 25-year sentence for a failed robbery during which a female police officer was killed.
BREAKING: Top French gangster Redoine Faïd escaped a highly secure prison Réau by helicopter, the helicopter was located and on fire on the A1 motorway near Gonesse, near Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
He fled by car after setting the helicopter on fire. pic.twitter.com/Zpw3f6K8hp
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) July 1, 2018
Aurélie Fouquet was shot as Faid and his gang fled the scene of the robbery using assault rifles to fire at police cars chasing them along a busy motorway.
According to news channel BFM-TV, his latest breakout was well-planned. Faid was in the prison’s visiting room at about 11.30am when the three ‘armed and well-trained men’ then reportedly presented themselves and demanded the criminal’s release.
Faid was then taken away, and put in a helicopter parked in a nearby school yard, according to French media.
According to France 3, the pilot of the helicopter was an instructor waiting for a lesson to begin and was allegedly ‘taken hostage’ by the men.
Reports suggest the helicopter landed in Garges-lès-Gonesse, around 37 miles from the prison and was set on fire.
The men were then allegedly picked up in a black Renault car before switching to a white van.
This is the second time Faid has broken out of jail.
In 2013, he blasted his way out of a different prison by using dynamite before being recaptured six weeks later.
The Ministry of the Interior said a huge police response has been ordered in an attempt to catch the fugitive, who has been described as dangerous.
A notorious gangster has escaped by helicopter from a prison in the Paris region, the French authorities say.Redoine Faid was helped by several heavily armed men who created a diversion at the prison entrance while the helicopter landed in the courtyard. pic.twitter.com/qphJCTWx9k
— hallygan agade (@hallygan) July 1, 2018
The Paris prosecutor’s office has now opened an investigation.
The Interior Ministry said:
All the territorial units of the police and gendarmerie were immediately alerted to the facts, and coordinated control and interception devices were put in place, which take into account the dangerousness of the fugitive and his possible accomplices.
Faid grew up in a notoriously rough suburb of Paris, and pursued a life of crime, writes BBC News.
In the 90s, Faid ran a gang involved in armed robbery and extortion in the French capital.
He wrote a book ‘Braqueur: des cités au grand banditisme’ (Robber: From Housing Estates to Organised Crime), in which he revealed he began stealing and drug dealing at the age of just eight.
One of the most notorious criminals in France, Redoine Faid has been extracted from the Seine-et-Marne prison, near Paris, by three armed accomplices and a helicopter! #PrisonBreak
— Callum Wright (@CallumWright__) July 1, 2018
His first armed raid came when he was 18. Faid called himself a ‘social climber of crime’, but in the book he said he wanted to ‘break away from petty crime’ and turn his attention to ‘real money’, in banks or security vehicles.
According to The Independent, one of his first bank raids came in the early 1990s, and he ‘copied the 1991 movie Point Break starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze’.
In the film, the robbers wore masks of former US presidents, Faid’s gang appeared at the raid as Charles de Gaulle and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing – and reflecting the movie, they told their victims: ‘Thank you for voting for me.’
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