PARIS – A French gangster is on the run after being broken out of prison by heavily armed gunmen and escaping in a helicopter that landed in the prison grounds, security sources said on Sunday.
Redoine Faid is one the country’s most famous gangsters and was serving a long-term sentence at a prison south of Paris for armed robbery and the murder of a policewoman in 2010 after a heist that went wrong.
He has a long career as a thief which he has said he was inspired by Hollywood blockbuster movies such as “Scarface” and “Heat”.
According to some reports, three armed gunmen arrived at the entrance of the prison, they demanded Faid’s release to create a diversion.
At the same time, a helicopter landed in the prison courtyard, which was not covered by any nets. Gunmen then entered the visiting room where Faid was and took him, they fled in the helicopter, the sources said. Nobody was injured.
The helicopter was found burnt in the north of Paris, the pilot may have been taken hostage.
An official at the interior ministry said, “Everything is being done to locate the fugitive.”
Faid has a history of escaping from jail in 2013, he had taken four prison guards hostage before using dynamite to blow his way out of prison and escaping in a waiting getaway car.
He was on the run for six weeks before police captured him in a hotel with an accomplice.
After 10 years in prison, he was released under conditions in 2009 after he convinced his parole officers that he had changed. His fame has increased since then following appearances in several television shows.
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