WATCH the moment notorious French gangster makes helicopter jailbreak

Redoine Faid

Redoine Faid

Paris: A notorious criminal who in the past had been branded as France's "Public Enemy No. 1" on Sunday made a cinematic escape from a prison near the country's capital in a helicopter, French authorities said.

Like a scene straight out of a Hollywood flick, gangster Redoine Faid, 46, pulled off a prison break on Sunday when he fled from a prison near Paris in a hijacked helicopter.

Soon, Faid reportedly appeared in the courtyard, escorted by armed accomplices who had freed him from the prison visiting room, and boarded the aircraft, Reuters reported.

In April, Faid was sentenced to 25 years for masterminding a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which French police officer Aurélie Fouquet was killed.

In 2013, while detained awaiting trial for the 2010 robbery, he blasted his way out of a prison near Lille with explosives after taking four guards hostage.

He was on the run for six weeks and had changed his appearance before police captured him in a hotel with an accomplice.

Spectacular helicopter jailbreaks became a regular embarrassment for French penal authorities until the late 2000s, but have petered out since prisoner exercise yards in most jails were equipped with nets to prevent helicopters from landing.

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The commandos used smoke canisters to hide from video cameras, and the helicopter touched down in the only part of the complex that was not covered by anti-helicopter netting, said another union member, Loic Delbroc.

"Police forces are fully mobilized in order to find this person", Philippe told RTL.

Faid then used a tissue-box containing explosives to meticulously blast his way through four gates on his way to the auto park, where he released his prisoners and set off in a vehicle.

Footage of the unbelievable moment notorious French gangster Redoine Faid broke out of prison in a helicopter has been shared online. He was later released, in shock but with no physical injuries.

The crime took place when Faid's brother was visiting him.

French police are also investigating the possibility that Faid may now be disguised as an Orthodox Jew and on his way to Israel.

Before the 2010 robbery, he had served a decade behind bars until he convinced officials he regretted his past. In it, he claimed to have been inspired by the USA gangster film "Scarface", the Telegraph wrote, but said his life of crime was behind him.

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