France’s most wanted breaks out

Armed rob­ber Re­doine Faid stages the first of his two spec­tac­u­lar es­capes from max­i­mum- se­cu­rity pris­ons

Real Crime - - Case Notes -

Armed rob­ber Re­doine Faid is prob­a­bly France’s most spec­tac­u­lar gang­ster since Jac­ques Mes­rine. Sentenced to 20 years, Faid had been re­leased, but was once again de­tained after breach­ing his pa­role, and was await­ing trial over an­other armed rob­bery in which a fe­male po­lice of­fi­cer was killed. He es­caped from Se­quedin prison in 2013 less than 30 min­utes after ar­riv­ing, tak­ing four guards hostage and blast­ing through sev­eral prison doors with ex­plo­sives.

Re­cap­tured and re­turned to a dif­fer­ent prison with a 25- year sen­tence, he didn’t stay at Sud- Fran­cilien prison very long ei­ther. This time Faid made his 2013 break seem com­par­a­tively timid.

In July 2018 three masked men with as­sault ri­fles and smoke grenades hi­jacked a he­li­copter, forc­ing its pi­lot to fly them to the prison. While one guarded the chop­per and pi­lot, the oth­ers used an­gle grinders to breach the prison’s vis­it­ing room. They knew ex­actly where and when to strike.

With Faid re­leased, the fear­some four­some boarded the chop­per, which had landed in the court­yard – the one part of the prison not pro­tected by anti- he­li­copter net­ting. They aban­doned the he­li­copter and its pi­lot, who was shaken but un­hurt, near Gonesse, be­fore con­tin­u­ing in a black Re­nault Me­gane.

The lack of net­ting also pro­vided un­in­ten­tional hu­mour. When asked, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive stated that in­mates never use the court­yard, “ex­cept to leave the prison”.

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