Notorious French gangster escapes Paris prison by helicopter: Media reports

The helicopter used in the escape was abandoned northeast of Paris

The helicopter used in the escape was abandoned northeast of Paris

He was also given 10 years following his 2013 prison escape in which he used explosives to blast his way out, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

Faid fled on Sunday with three accomplices, according to the sources.

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

Faid, 46, was reportedly assisted by at least three armed accomplices who picked him up by helicopter from the Reau prison courtyard, in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

A picture taken on July 1, 2018 in Gonesse, north of Paris shows a French helicopter Alouette II abandoned by armed robber Redoine Faid.

Investigators "do not know if there is a link between the drones seen over the prison a few months back and the escape", Veroni said.

Dressed all in black, two commandos wearing balaclavas and police armbands entered the prison to look for Faid.

He was on the run for six weeks before police captured him in a hotel with an accomplice.

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The helicopter - hijacked from a terrified flight instructor - landed at around 11:15 am (4:15pm Thai time) in the prison yard.

Faid was in prison on charges of attempted robbery in 2010, which killed a female police officer. A third gunmen had stayed in the helicopter with the pilot, who had been taken hostage.

The armed men set off smoke canisters to hide from prison video cameras and the helicopter touched down in the only part of the complex that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting, said a member of the prison guards' union, Loic Delbroc. Faid and his accomplices are believed to have ditched the airplane and escaped by auto. One of his prison supervisors said that Faid had never had any conflict with staff, "but we must always be wary".

Belloubet said Sunday that the gang probably used drones to stake out the seven-year-old prison, which was built on a site surrounded by fields to give a clear view in every direction - specifically to prevent breakouts.

Faid has broken out of jail before. Faid's brother has now been taken into custody for questioning about his potential involvement.

Faid has been behind bars since mid-2011 for breaking the terms of his parole over past convictions for bank robberies and brazen heists of cash-in-transit vehicles.

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

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