French Gangster escapes Jail for a Second Time in a Helicopter

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It was the second time he had escaped from a French prison - the last time he blasted his way out with hidden explosives. A third gunmen had stayed in the helicopter with the pilot, who had been taken hostage.

He was re-arrested six weeks later.

Less than a decade later, on a warm Sunday morning, a small white helicopter would fly over the prison's plentiful foliage and land in the aforementioned courtyard.

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into the jailbreak.

The prison courtyard it landed in was the only one not fitted with anti-helicopter nets as it is used by inmates exclusively when they are being admitted to or released from the jail. Faid is believed to have left by auto along with his accomplices.

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.

Officials later found the burnt and abandoned helicopter in Garges-les-Gonesse north of Paris.

This picture taken on July 1, 2018 in Aulnay-sous-Bois, shows a forensic police officer investigating a vehicle abandoned by French armed robber Redoine Faid at O'Parinor shopping mall parking after his escape onboard a helicopter from a prison.

Redoine Faid, 46, who previously said his life of crime was inspired by films such as Scarface, broke out of the prison with the help of three armed accomplices, according to sources close to the case. Faid's brother has been taken into custody for questioning.

In 2009, Faid wrote a book titled "Robber: Cities of Organized Crime", in which he explored his childhood growing up in Paris' marginalised neighbourhoods, or banlieues.

Authorities launched a dragnet around the French capital on Sunday after a notorious criminal serving 25 years for murder used a helicopter Sunday to escape from a prison south of Paris.

Faid is not the first prisoner to escape in a helicopter. He is said to be devoted to Robert De Niro movies and the stylised crime thrillers of U.S. director Michael Mann. In April this year, he was convicted on appeal of masterminding a 2010 robbery in which a young policewoman, Aurélie Fouquet, was killed. One of his prison supervisors said that Faid had never had any conflict with staff, "but we must always be wary".