Notorious gangster in helicopter prison break

It is the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak- in 2013 he blasted his way out of a prison in northern France using dynamite before being recaptured six weeks later

Police at the scene where the helicopter landed near a road in Gonesse, north of Paris.

Less than a decade later, on a warm Sunday morning, a small white helicopter would fly over the prison's plentiful foliage and land in the aforementioned courtyard. Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard - which was not protected by a net - without injuring anyone Gunmen took the prisoner from the visitors' room before fleeing by air, according to security sources cited by Reuters.

Faid, who has a cult following in the tough immigrant suburbs outside Paris where he grew up, has made several television appearances.

Redoine Faid, France's notorious gangster dramatically flew away from a prison after his associates hitched him a ride in a hijacked helicopter.

Belloubet said the commandos put the helicopter down in the only place in the prison that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting.

After the helicopter that flew Faid out of jail was set on fire, its occupants fled by vehicle in a black Renault Megane which they later dumped in the underground auto park of a shopping centre near the airport.

The helicopter was later found in a northeastern suburb of the French capital, they said, adding that a police search has been launched across the entire Paris region.

In 2013, he took four prison guards hostage before using dynamite to blow his way out of jail and fleeing in a waiting getaway auto.

He staged that escape less than half an hour after arriving at a prison in northern France. Faid's brother has been taken into custody for questioning. He has said his life of crime was inspired by movies such as "Scarface" and "Heat".

Faid, a 46-year-old gang leader, committed his first bank robbery in 1990, and was arrested in 1998 after three years on the run in Switzerland and Israel, according to local media. He carried out that escape "with explosives hidden in tissue packs", according to The Associated Press, and was apprehended again just weeks later at a hotel.

The 2010 robbery that he was imprisoned for involved the shooting of a female police officer.

Faid has authored a book in which he detailed his experiences growing up in a crime-ridden suburb of Paris. The 26-year-old was killed after a dramatic chase down the motorway in which the robbers fired AK47 rifles at police cars on a busy motorway.

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