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Notorious French Gangster Makes Daring Escape From Prison Yard Via Helicopter

(GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images)

A notorious gangster, a failed bank robbery, a breakout from jail; they all sound like key elements from a gangster movie set in the Roaring 20s. But substitute bootleggers for a getaway helicopter and you have the makings of a modern day jailbreak that really happened.




A manhunt is underway in France, as famous gangster Redoine Faid, 46, successfully escaped prison via helicopter within 10 minutes around 11:20 a.m. on Sunday.




French authorities reported that two armed men in masks took a helicopter instructor waiting on a student hostage from an airfield in Fontenay-Trésigny and was forced to take them to the prison where Faid was being visited by his brother, Réau.

NDTV said two of the accomplices made their way into the building using smoke bombs past unarmed wardens and made their way to the visiting room where the meeting between brothers was taking place. Réau was later apprehended, according to prison unionist Martial Delabroye and a judicial source.

After the men retrieved the famed criminal they fled in the helicopter which was later found abandoned in the Gonesse area.






According to Telegraph, the criminals transferred to a black Renault Megane and later ditched it by a local shopping mall after switching yet again into a white van marked, "Enedis," on the side.




This was the second time Faid made a dramatic escape from prison. He was serving a 25-year sentence for a botched bank robbery that he masterminded in 2010 that resulted in the death of a police officer.

Previously, he broke out of prison in 2013 by using four security guards as human shields and deployed dynamite to blow out several doors.





Faid's penchant for dramatic operations was inspired by his devotion to Robert De Niro movies and crime films directed by Michael Mann, who was once told by Faid at a Paris film festival, "You were my technical adviser."

The helicopter instructor was unharmed but was taken to the hospital as a result of severe shock.


We want to see how this unfolded.



A prison staff member noted how polite and quiet Faid was as an inmate. "But we must always be wary," he said.

Unfortunately, his awakening to that caveat came a little too late.

H/T - Twitter, Telegraph, BBC