French Gangster Makes Prison Break, Escapes Via Helicopter With Aid From Masked Gunmen

A French gangster is on the lam along with his anonymous associates after having made a high-octane prison break via helicopter according to Reuters.

Redoine Faid was being held at the Reau Penitentiary, south of Paris, serving a 25-year sentence for which, given his priors, offered little chance at imminent parole. This morning at approximately 10:30 a.m. GMT, Faid and a group of committed associates conducted their own operation that secured a spectacularly early release of the convict.

According to sources, a trio of gunmen made their way to the prison entrance this morning without warning, demanding Faid’s immediate release.

It was a diversion.

While prison staff were tied up dealing with the three armed men, a helicopter was landing in the penitentiary yard, the square not being covered by protective nets of any sort. Faid’s well-armed accomplices then escorted the thief from the visiting room in which he was being held to the awaiting helicopter. The men fled without any further incident, and nobody involved on either side was injured.

The burned out helicopter was later found discarded in the Gonesse region, north of Paris.

This is the second time that Faid has made a successful prison break, having escaped from his bonds once before in 2013. Al Jazeera writes that Faid took four prison guards hostage and utilized explosives that had been hidden in tissue packets to blast through a number of gates. He managed to elude authorities for six weeks before being caught in a hotel outside of the French capital.

Redoine Faid is one of the most notorious criminals in his native country, having had a very long career as a professional thief, having said that his personal inspiration in criminal enterprise comes in the form of Hollywood franchises such as Heat and Scarface. Paroled in 2009 following 10 years behind bars for a rash of robberies, Faid released an autobiographical book in 2009, the BBC reports, in which he detailed his rise into a life of crime, graduating from the streets. His book, entitled Braqueur: Des cités au grand banditisme included the claim that he had laid a life of crime behind him.

Faid had made many television appearances on the subject of his criminal career and enjoyed some degree of public profile coinciding with his 2009 parole and the release of his book.

A year later, he would end up serving his current term after having been involved in a failed robbery with lethal consequences for the responding law enforcement officer.

Faid was serving his current sentence at Reau Penitentiary on convictions for armed robbery and for the murder of a policewoman nearly a decade ago after a botched heist. His sentence is for 25 years, which may be exacerbated should he be apprehended by authorities.

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