PARIS — A notorious French gangster famed for his spectacular prison escapes has done it again — this time busting out with the help of two accomplices who launched a commando-style raid with a stolen helicopter.
Redoine Faid ‘s accomplices were armed with automatic rifles and used smoke bombs and angle grinders to bust into a visiting room at the prison near Paris, snatching Faid and whisking him to the waiting chopper.
The whole operation took just 10 minutes, AFP reported.
In 2013, Faid, 46, launched a similarly spectacular escape, using dynamite to blast his way free. He was captured six weeks later. In April, Faid was sentenced to 25 years for masterminding a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which a policewoman was killed.
After this weekend’s escape, the getaway helicopter was found about 40 miles from the prison. The helicopter pilot was a flight instructor who had been waiting for a student when he was kidnapped at gunpoint by Faid’s accomplices.
After ditching the chopper, the men used a car that was later found torched in a shopping mall carpark, police said.
Authorities say they believe Faid’s accomplices used drones to surveil the prison before the raid.
Faid has been nicknamed”The Author” for two books he co-wrote about his delinquent youth. He has a cult following in the tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris where he grew up.