Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

French prisoner Redoine Faid escapes from Paris prison in helicopter

French prisoner Redoine Faid escapes from Paris prison in helicopter

A prison watchtower is seen at Reau penitentiary, near Paris, September 24, 2013.

Three "well trained, professional, and heavily armed" men showed up and, using smoke, managed to whisk him away in a helicopter parked in the prison courtyard. 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.

Faid was sentenced to 25 years in the 2010 death of a young policewoman killed during a botched robbery. Moments later, the convict disappeared into the sky and out of captivity - all in broad daylight.

A police source said the helicopter pilot was a flight instructor waiting for a student when he was seized by Faid's accomplices.

A vehicle abandoned by Redoine Faid in a shopping mall in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris, after his escape in the helicopter.

The getaway helicopter was later found burnt, by local police, in the nearby Parisian suburb of Gonesse, next to the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.


The French National Police are still in search of the gangster.

"It was an extremely well-prepared commando unit that may have used drones to survey the area beforehand", BBC quoted France's Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet as saying. She is set to appear on a French news program at 7:20 a.m. Monday, local time, to discuss the prison break. He used explosives to escape from a different prison in 2013. He carried out that escape "with explosives hidden in tissue packs", according to The Associated Press, and was apprehended again just weeks later at a hotel. He is said to be devoted to Robert De Niro movies and the stylised crime thrillers of USA director Michael Mann. Mesrine also turned his life into a kind of movie script, with interviews and letters to newspapers, before he died in a police ambush on the northern outskirts of Paris in 1979.

In the 1990s, he led a gang involved in robbing banks and armored vans.

Redoine Faid, 46, who previously said his life of crime was inspired by films such as Scarface.

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

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