Notorious French Prisoner Makes Daring Helicopter Escape

Sud-Francilien prison outside Paris when Redoine Faid had escaped in 2013

Sunday's escape from the penitentiary in Reau in the French capital's southeastern suburbs took just minutes, the prison authority said, adding that no one had been injured.

It is not the first time that Faid, 46, has escaped. In 2013, Faid managed to escape from a prison in Lille, France, by taking four guards hostage and then detonating explosives hidden in a tissue box to blow out the prison gates, local outlets reported. Faid was on the run for six weeks before he was found in a hotel room and taken back into custody.

The escape came after an appeals court in April sentenced Faid to 25 years for masterminding a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which a policewoman was killed.

But Faid "always denied his involvement in the case", his former lawyer Christian Saint-Palais said.

His infamy has increased since then following appearances in several television shows and the co-authoring of books recounting his past and rise as a criminal in the tough suburbs of Paris.

Justice Minister Belloubet has called for an immediate review of the prison system in France, criticizing security at the prison where Faid escaped as "passive".

A prison watchtower is seen at Reau penitentiary, near Paris, on September 24, 2013.

Brahim Faid's lawyer, Keren Saffar, said Redoine told his brother that someone was coming to get him and to stay where he was. "The two men used a grinding machine to open the door to the visiting room where Faid was and picked him up and left".

Investigators are also looking into whether Faid had help from inside the prison.

According to France 3, the pilot of the helicopter was an instructor waiting for a lesson to begin and he was taken hostage by the men.

The helicopter used in Faid's escape landed near Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy airport north of Paris where a fourth individual was waiting with a black Renault Mégane getaway auto.

Attorney Laurent-Frank Lienard said Fouquet's parents are certain Faid "was involved at the highest level in the robbery attempt that led to Aurélie Fouquet's death".

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

Faid has authored a book in which he detailed his experiences growing up in a crime-ridden suburb of Paris.

He said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as "Scarface" and "Heat".

The courtyard where the helicopter landed was the only area not protected by anti-aircraft netting.

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