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Notorious career thief escapes from Paris prison by helicopter

It was the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak – in 2013, he blasted his way out of a prison using dynamite.

A still from a video featuring Redoine Faid.
A still from a video featuring Redoine Faid.
Image: Screengrab

A NOTORIOUS CAREER thief who was once France’s most-wanted man has pulled off a daring jailbreak today, fleeing a facility in the Paris area by helicopter, prison officials said.

Redoine Faid (46) broke out of the prison in Reau in the city’s southeastern suburbs within minutes, sources close to the case said, indicating he had been helped by a number of heavily-armed men.

It was the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak – in 2013, he blasted his way out of a prison in northern France using dynamite before being recaptured six weeks later.

At that time, Faid used explosives to blast his way out of the Sequedin penitentiary during his jailbreak and, armed with a pistol, briefly took four guards hostage before escaping in a waiting getaway car. All the hostages were released unharmed at the time.

The penitentiary was just 15 kilometres from the Belgian border and a Europe-wide arrest warrant was issued as French authorities had believed he may have fled the country.

“Especially dangerous”

At the time of his last escape, French officials had warned that Faid, who grew up in tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris, was considered armed and “especially dangerous”.

He had been in prison since mid-2011 for breaking the terms of his parole over past convictions for bank robberies and brazen heists of cash-in-transit vehicles.

Before this, Faid had been released from a previous stint of a decade behind bars after convincing parole officials that he regretted his criminal past and was determined to start afresh.

He made several television appearances and co-authored two books about his delinquent youth and rise as a criminal in the Paris suburbs, saying his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat.

- © AFP, 2018

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