French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

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

A union representative at Reau told BFM television that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" entered the prison to look for Faid and used a grinding machine to cut open the door that directly leads to the visiting room.

Faid was sentenced to 25 years for his role as the suspected mastermind of an attempted armed robbery that led to the 2010 death of 26-year-old policewoman Aurelie Fouquet, who was killed in a shootout, according to the Associated Press.

In this photo dated November 22, 2010, notorious French criminal Redoine Faid poses prior to an interview with French all-news TV channel, LCI, as he was promoting his book, in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, France.

In 2001, three armed robbers fled a prison in Draguignan, southern France, after an accomplice hijacked a helicopter from an airfield in nearby St Tropez.

Belloubet said the commandos put the helicopter down in the only place in the prison that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting. In 2013, he took four prison guards hostage, then used dynamite to blasted his way out, fleeing in a waiting getaway vehicle, only to be recaptured six weeks later. Nobody was wounded or taken hostage, according to the authorities.

Belloubet said police had launched a manhunt and described Faid as risky.

Two gunmen jumped from the helicopter to free Faid from the visitors' room where he was meeting one of his brothers before escaping in the helicopter, she said.

The prison break came a little over five years after Faid broke out of the Sequedin prison on April 13, 2013.

He was arrested in 1998 following a global manhunt that tracked him to Switzerland and Israel. He has said his life of crime was inspired by movies such as "Scarface" and "Heat".

He had been released on parole in 2009, after spending 10 years behind bars for a series of robberies.

He was re-arrested six weeks later.

The 2010 robbery that he was imprisoned for involved the shooting of a female police officer. Shortly after, he said he was renouncing crime, the AP says, and wrote a book about his early life and his rise through criminal networks in France.

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