French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

Three armed and well-trained men reportedly presented themselves at the prison and demanded Faid's release

Three armed and well-trained men reportedly presented themselves at the prison and demanded Faid's release

A notorious career thief who was once France's most-wanted man pulled off a daring jailbreak today, fleeing a facility in the Paris area by helicopter, prison officials said.

Sunday's escape from the penitentiary in Reau in the French capital's southeastern suburbs took just minutes, the prison authority said, adding that no one had been injured.

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.

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

There were no reports of injuries in the latest jailbreak, and Faid is believed to be the only prisoner who escaped. Back in 2013 he blasted out of jail using dynamite, he also took 4 prison wardens hostage during this attempt.

He was on the run for six weeks before police captured him in a hotel with an accomplice.

The criminal careerist was serving a 25-year sentence for an armed robbery that led to the death of a policewoman in 2010 at the time of his escape. Two armed men climbed out, stormed the premises with assault rifles and set off bombs.

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Faid is a well-known criminal in France, particularly after his high-stakes escape from prison in 2013.

Once they had their man in the helicopter they flew it right across the city of Paris before abandoning it near to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in the north east of the city.

A union representative at Reau Prison, Martial Delabroye, told BFM television that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" entered in the prison to look for Faid.

The crime took place when Faid's brother was visiting him.

After the helicopter that flew Faid out of jail was set on fire, its occupants fled by vehicle in a black Renault Megane which they later dumped in the underground auto park of a shopping centre near the airport. Faid was talking with his brother at that time.

Faid has authored a book in which he detailed his experiences growing up in a crime-ridden suburb of Paris.

Faid was freed in 2009 after serving 10 years. He was arrested in 2011.

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