Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Criminals Land Helicopter In Prison To Help Gangster Escape

Criminals Land Helicopter In Prison To Help Gangster Escape

The escape from the prison in Réau happened quickly - the Ministry of Justice says it "lasted only a few minutes".

Two black-clad men armed with assault rifles then set off smoke bombs before using power tools to break into the prison's visiting room, where Faid was talking to his brother.

French prosecutors opened a new investigation into Faid, 46, who was serving time for the 2010 death of a young police officer killed during a botched robbery.

This is not Faid's first escape from a prison, either. In that escape, he used explosives smuggled into him to blast through five prison doors, took four guards hostage and used them as human shields while making his way to a getaway auto and fleeing.

Staying on the run will become increasingly expensive for Faid as he tries to avoid capture, but authorities said they have no clear sense of how much money the serial robber of banks and armored trucks had stashed away from his previous crimes.

But in April, he was sentenced to 25 years for masterminding a May 2010 armed robbery that turned into a gunfight, killing a female police officer.

He was questioned by the police before being released in a state of shock.

In his many interviews, he admitted that he sometimes took inspiration for his crimes (armed robberies, mostly) in movies like "The Heat" and "Scarface", and even laughed once that, if cops learned the lesson from Hollywood movies, crime could go down by 50%.

Officials said drones seen buzzing above the prison months ago may have been on a reconnaissance mission ahead of the escape. Gunmen then took Faid from the visiting room and fled in the helicopter. The criminals burned the helicopter before they left it.

The courtyard where the helicopter landed was the only area not protected by anti-aircraft netting.

Faid, who grew up in tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris, has made several television appearances and co-authored two books about his delinquent youth and rise as a criminal in the Paris suburbs.

Faid was freed in 2009 after serving 10 years in prison. Faid deboarded the helicopter and got into a vehicle, which was later found burned out at a shopping centre auto park in a Paris suburb.

Almost 3,000 French police have been recruited to search for the criminal, who had escaped prison once before.

Like this: