French convict escapes from prison using a helicopter

Inmate films French gangster Redoine Faid escaping in helicopter - Daily Mail

Later, the helicopter was found dumped in a suburb after the criminals burned it just northeast of Paris.

Less than a decade later, on a warm Sunday morning, a small white helicopter would fly over the prison's plentiful foliage and land in the aforementioned courtyard.

It is believed that the heavily armed men, who had guns, were dressed in black and wore hoods, demanded the prisoner's release.

Faid was jailed for 25 years for the death of a young policewoman killed during a botched robbery in 2010.

According to French media, the breakout happened while Faid was in the Reau prison's visiting room at about 11:30am local time.

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

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

Belloubet said the commandos put the helicopter down in the only place in the prison that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting.

This is his second prison break: in 2013, he escaped after taking four guards hostage as human shields and destroying a number of doors. A third gunmen had stayed in the helicopter with the pilot, who had been taken hostage.

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French prosecutors have opened an investigation but it's not the first time that Faid, 46, has gone on the lam.

Faid has been behind bars since mid-2011 for breaking the terms of his parole over past convictions for bank robberies and brazen heists of cash-in-transit vehicles.

She was shot as the gang fled and used Kalashnikov assault rifles to fire at police cars pursuing them along the busy A4 motorway.

Faid's brother, Brahim, was detained by authorities for questioning.

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

He was arrested in 1998 following a global manhunt that tracked him to Switzerland and Israel.

He is one of country's most famous gangsters with a long career as a thief which he has said was inspired by Hollywood blockbuster movies such as Scarface and Heat.

In 2009 he wrote a book about his experiences of growing up in Paris's crime-ridden suburbs and graduating into a life of crime.

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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