Defective security helped French convict flee prison by helicopter

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A manhunt is underway in France for one of the country's most notorious gangsters who made a daring escape from prison in a helicopter yesterday.

Soon, Faid reportedly appeared in the courtyard, escorted by armed accomplices who had freed him from the prison visiting room, and boarded the aircraft, Reuters reported.

There were no reports of injuries in the latest jailbreak, and Faid is believed to be the only prisoner who escaped. In 2013, he used explosives hidden in tissue packs to escape another facility.

He was re-apprehended six weeks later at a Paris hotel and in 2017, he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for that first jailbreak.

He was serving prison for a time duration of 25-years for a failed robbery in which a police officer was killed.

She was shot as the gang fled and used Kalashnikov assault rifles to fire at police cars pursuing them along the busy A4 motorway.

The French justice minister has said drones were seen flying over the prison in the days leading up to what she called a "spectacular escape".

This time he flew out of the prison in Reu, about 25 miles southeast of Paris in a helicopter.

A union representative for the prison told French news channel BFM that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" broke into the visiting room with a grinder.

The helicopter, the pilot of which was later released, was found burnt out north of Paris, as was a getaway auto. Faid was talking with his brother at that time.

Redoine Faid, France's notorious gangster dramatically flew away from a prison after his associates hitched him a ride in a hijacked helicopter.

Faid grew up in the French capital's tough immigrant suburbs.

Faid has a violent criminal record dating to at least the 1990s, when he organized the robberies of banks, shops and armored vehicles. Faid and his accomplices are believed to have ditched the airplane and escaped by auto.

Prior to 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.

Still, he was the suspected mastermind of an attempted armed robbery in 2010 that led to a high-speed chase and a shootout with police in which 26-year-old policewoman Aurelie Fouquet was killed.