Notorious French gangster escapes Paris prison by helicopter: Media reports

Police examine the scene where the helicopter used in the jailbreak was abandoned

The ministry said an armed commando landed in a helicopter in the courtyard as the prisoner was in the visiting room of the prison.

French police have launched a massive manhunt for Faid, who has not been seen since the breakout Sunday.

Redoine Faid, probably the most notorious French gangster, has escaped jail for the 2nd time, this time in a helicopter.

He took four guards hostage with a pistol before escaping in a getaway auto but was recaptured six weeks later at a hotel.

He was re-arrested six weeks later.

The 46-year-old is serving a 25-year sentence for a failed cash-transport van robbery in 2010 during which a police officer was killed.

Faid is a well-known criminal in France, particularly after his high-stakes escape from prison in 2013.

French justice minister Nicole Belloubet had told reporters Sunday, a few hours after the escape, that "the prison's staff mentioned they saw drones flying over the prison a few months ago".

In this photo dated November 22, 2010, notorious French criminal Redoine Faid poses prior to an interview with French all-news TV channel, LCI, as he was promoting his book, in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, France.

As per a report by Hindustan Times, Faid, who claims that his life is inspired by gangster films like "Scarface", escaped with the help of two accomplices using smoke bombs and angle grinders, according to prison unionist Martial Delabroye.

The engine finally restarted and they headed to Reau Prison, south of Paris, to hustle convict Redoine Faid to freedom.

Faid allegedly then got into a black escape vehicle, which also was found abandoned in Aulnay-sous-Bois, another Paris suburb, the BBC reported.

The dramatic jailbreak took place after a helicopter pilot was taken hostage by three gunmen and forced to land at the prison. The three men were able to take the robber out of prison and put him on a plane and fly away.

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into the jailbreak.

He wrote that he had watched the film dozens of times to ideal his bank-robbing prowess.

He had been released on parole in 2009, after spending 10 years behind bars for a series of robberies.

Police nicknamed him "The Author" for the two books he co-wrote about his youth. "Behind all his manners-he is very polite-he always hid his game", the supervisor said.

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