Gang may have used drones to help Redoine Faid escape prison

Interpol put Faid on thir most wanted list after he escaped from prison in 2013

Paris: A notorious criminal who in the past had been branded as France's "Public Enemy No. 1" on Sunday made a cinematic escape from a prison near the country's capital in a helicopter, French authorities said.

Redoine Faid was in the visiting room in Réau prison when the three men burst in on Sunday morning and extracted him with the help of a Belgium-registered helicopter that landed in one of the prison courtyards.

A manhunt is now underway to find one of Redoine Faid, France's most notorious gangsters, after he mounted a helicopter escape from Réau Prison, on the outskirts of Paris.

Faid's brother was in custody on Monday. 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.

According to the BBC, Faid has said his lifestyle was inspired by Hollywood gangster films, including "Scarface".

However, Faid has strong links to Israel, and it is feared he may be trying to flee there. Brahim Faid's lawyer, Keren Saffar, said Redoine told his brother that someone was coming to get him and to stay where he was.

It said "an armed commando landed in a helicopter in the courtyard as the prisoner was in the visiting room" of the facility.

This is not the first time 46-year-old Faid has "pulled off a spectacular jailbreak", says The Daily Telegraph.

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The helicopter was found shortly afterwards in a suburb northeast of Paris, along with the pilot, who had been beaten and was taken to hospital in a state of shock.

Prison officers described Faid as "polite" and said they had never had any trouble with him, "but we must always be wary", one supervisor said, according to AFP.

Nicole Belloubet, France's justice minister, has come under increasing criticism for the flawed security around Faid.

The pilot of that helicopter, Stéphane Buy told his story on French radio on Wednesday.

A notorious French gangster has managed to escape prison again.

In the 1990s, Faid led a criminal gang involved in armed robbery of banks and armored vans transporting money.

Following a decade in prison, he was released under conditions in 2009 after convincing parole officers that he had changed.

After arriving at the prison and freeing Faid, they took off for the suburb of Roissy northeast of Paris, where they then tried to set the helicopter on fire before fleeing by auto.

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