French gangster uses helicopter to flee prison, manhunt under way

French gangster uses helicopter to flee prison, manhunt under way

French gangster uses helicopter to flee prison, manhunt under way

In a dramatic style, Faid's associates hijacked a helicopter and made the pilot land it in a prison courtyard that was not protected by anti-aircraft setting.

When the chopper arrived, Faid was meeting with his brother in the visiting room.

Drones seen buzzing above a prison months ago may have been on a reconnaissance mission ahead of the cinematic escape of a notorious French criminal - his second in five years.

Faid, who has said he was inspired by United States films such as "Scarface" and "Heat", was serving 25 years in Réau prison for his part in a botched 2010 cash-transport van robbery that he masterminded. He was recaptured six weeks later in a hotel room. Investigators were questioning Faid's brother on Sunday afternoon. The pilot was later released with no physical injuries, according to AP.

As soon as the gangster flew out of jail, a massive search was launched by the French National Police across greater Paris.

Faid's accomplices took hostage a flying instructor from a small flying school in Fontenay-Trésigny commune, and ordered him to fly to the prison.

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Footage of the unbelievable moment notorious French gangster Redoine Faid broke out of prison in a helicopter has been shared online.

Faid then used a tissue-box containing explosives to meticulously blast his way through four gates on his way to the vehicle park, where he released his prisoners and set off in a auto.

The BBC said Said headed a gang that took part in robbery and extortion schemes in Paris in the 1990s.

His infamy has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and the co-authoring of books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in the tough suburbs of Paris. Faid and his accomplices are believed to have ditched the airplane and escaped by vehicle.

Before the 2010 robbery, he had served a decade behind bars until he convinced officials he regretted his past. At the time he swore that he had turned his life around, writing a confessional book about his life of crime and going on an extensive media tour in 2010.

But he was arrested in 2011 on suspicion of masterminding a robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer.

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