Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

French robber Redoine Faïd 'breaks free from jail' in dramatic helicopter escape

French robber Redoine Faïd 'breaks free from jail' in dramatic helicopter escape French robber Redoine Faïd 'breaks free from jail' in dramatic helicopter escape
Melinda Barton | 01 July, 2018, 18:22

A notorious career thief who was once France's most-wanted man pulled off a daring jailbreak on Sunday, fleeing a prison near Paris by helicopter in a commando-style operation.

France's Justice Ministry said Redoine Faid's escape only took "a few minutes" and no one was injured or taken hostage at Reau Prison.

A police source said the helicopter pilot was a flight instructor waiting for a student when he was seized by Faid's accomplices, before being later freed in a state of shock.

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

According to news channel BFM-TV, the breakout was orchestrated as Faid was in the prison's visiting room at about 11.30am local time. Police later found a burnt out black Renault, suspected of being the getaway vehicle, in Aulnay-sous-Bois, another suburb of the French capital. In his previous escape explosives were used to blow through five security doors at Sequedin prison in 2013, he remained on the run for a month and a half before being caught.

Redoine Faid, 46, was serving a 25-year sentence at Reau prison, south of Paris, for armed robbery and the murder of a policewoman in 2010 after a heist that went wrong. He has said his life of crime was inspired by movies such as "Scarface" and "Heat".

Faid was eventually recaptured six weeks later at a hotel in an industrial area on the outskirts of Paris.

Following a decade in prison, he was released under conditions in 2009 after convincing his parole officers that he had changed.

Faid grew up in the French capital's tough immigrant suburbs.