French convict escapes from prison via a helicopter

02 July, 2018, 13:44 | Author: Emmett Rice

Faid now remains at large as police continue a huge manhunt for the notorious fugitive. It marked the second time in less than five years that Faid has absconded from a maximum-security penitentiary.

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into the jailbreak.

"It was a spectacular escape".

A notorious French gangster broke out of prison Sunday morning, when three heavily armed accomplices landed a helicopter in the jail courtyard and flew off with him, according to local reports.

Belloubet said Sunday the gang probably used drones to stake out the prison.

Faid was serving 25 years in prison for a bank robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer.

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.

Officials later found the burnt and abandoned helicopter in Garges-les-Gonesse north of Paris. Police believe Faid was transferred to a waiting getaway auto, which was also found ditched.

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Faid's brother, who was visiting him at the jail, has been taken into custody for questioning.

They managed to whisk the convict away in a helicopter which had been flown into the prison courtyard.

"The escape only lasted a few minutes", the statement said. Faid was talking with his brother at that time.

His fame has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and authoring books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in Paris' tough suburbs. He received an eight-year prison sentence in 2011 - interrupted by the 2013 breakout.

In 2013, Faid blasted his way out of prison with explosives concealed in tissue packs. He briefly took four wardens hostage before being recaptured six weeks later in a cheap hotel room. He was arrested in 1998 after three years on the run in Switzerland and Israel, according to the French media.

He claimed to have turned his back on criminality, but a year later was involved in the failed robbery for which he was serving a sentence at the prison in Réau in the Seine-et-Marne region. His prison break marked the 12th time since 1986 that an inmate in France has used a helicopter to flee prison walls.

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

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