A well-known French criminal has escaped from prison by helicopter, the country’s prison authority has said.
Local media reported that French-Algerian top gangster Redoine Faid made his second prison break in just over five years at around 11:30 am local time (10:30GMT) on Sunday.
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.
Le Monde newspaper reported the operation only took a few minutes.
The helicopter was found burnt out by local police in the Gonesse area, north of Paris.
Faid, who was once the most-wanted criminal of France, pulled off an earlier prison break in April 2013 when he took four prison guards hostage and used explosives hidden in tissue packets to blast his way through several gates.
He was captured six weeks later in a hotel outside of the French capital.
Faid was serving a 25-year prison sentence for a 2010 failed robbery in which a 26-year-old municipal police officer was killed.
He had been released on parole in 2009, after spending 10 years behind bars for a series of robberies.
That same year, he wrote a book about growing up in Paris’ suburbs and leading a life of crime, which he claimed at the time to have put behind him.
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