Redoine Faid, 46, a notorious French criminal serving 25 years for murdering a young police officer during a botched robbery in 2010, escaped from the Sud-Francilien prison in Reau ,Sunday, after a helicopter carrying several heavily armed commandos landed in a courtyard, freed him from a visiting room and carried him away.
The gunmen used smoke bombs and angle-grinders to break into the visitors' room where Faid was. An Alouette II helicopter was later abandoned by the fugitive. No one was injured or taken hostage at Reau Prison, located in the southeastern suburbs of Paris. Previously, Redoine escaped once from another prison using explosives hidden in tissue packs. When the chopper arrived, Faid was meeting with his brother in the visiting room. Police took the brother into custody. This time, preparing for the action, the members of the commando took the pilot hostage at a flying club in the Paris region. After using the helicopter the captured pilot was released, and later taken to hospital suffering from shock.
The helicopter was abandoned
French Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet said that drones had been spotted over the prison a few months prior. Authorities launched a dragnet around the French capital on Sunday. Faid was once France's most-wanted man and previously said his life of crime was inspired by films such as "Scarface." He is devoted to US director Michael Mann's stylised crime thrillers, especially 1995 gangster film Heat.