Notorious gangster in helicopter prison break

Notorious gangster in helicopter prison break

Faid was sprung from a prison in Paris by two accomplices who used smoke bombs and angle grinders to break into the jail and whisk the fugitive to a waiting helicopter.

The helicopter was later found in a northeastern suburb of Paris about 60 kilometres from the prison, one source said, adding that a police search has been launched across the entire Paris region. Loud cheers can be heard as the helicopter soars beyond the jail.

The French National Police said Sunday that it had mobilized its forces and urged people to notify authorities with any pertinent information.

At the same time, a helicopter landed in the prison courtyard, the only part of the complex not covered by anti-helicopter netting.

The three accomplices successfully helped Faid escape and later landed the aircraft 37 miles from the prison before setting it alight and fleeing in a black Renault auto.

Redoine Faid was in the visiting room in Réau prison when the three men burst in on Sunday morning and extracted him with the help of a Belgium-registered helicopter that landed in one of the prison courtyards. She visited the prison in the evening. The getaway helicopter was apparently discovered north of Paris, according to Reuters, and the men are still on the lam. He was on the run for 6 weeks before he was recaptured in a hotel room.

At a Paris film festival in April 2009, Faid approached Michael Mann, director of the 1995 gangster film "Heat" starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, telling him: "You were my technical adviser".

This is the second time the career criminal has pulled off a daring jailbreak.

He was arrested again in 2011 for his role in a botched robbery in which a 26 year old policewoman was killed, though Faid said he had nothing to do with her death. Mesrine also turned his life into a kind of movie script, with interviews and letters to newspapers, before he died in a police ambush on the northern outskirts of Paris in 1979.

In the 1990s, he was co-leader of a gang engaged in jewel theft, armed robbery and extortion in the Paris area. He took families, couples and once a police officer hostage during the years-long spree, according to the Telegraph.

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