Notorious thief flees Paris jail by helicopter
Rdoine Fad, once France’s most wanted man, broke out in minutes, aided by armed men
A notorious thief who was once France’s most wanted man pulled off a jailbreak on Sunday, fleeing a prison in the Paris area by helicopter, officials said.
Rdoine Fad, 46, broke out of the prison in Rau in the capitals south-eastern suburbs within minutes, helped by several heavily armed men, sources close to the case said.
He fled with three accomplices and the helicopter was later found in a north-eastern suburb of Paris, the sources said. A police search has been launched across the region.
It was the second time Fad had pulled off a jailbreak in 2013 he blasted his way out of a prison in northern France using dynamite but was found six weeks later.
Prior to this, he was released after a decade behind bars after convincing parole officials that he regretted his criminal past and was determined to start afresh.
An appeals court sentenced Fad to 25 years in April for masterminding an armed robbery in May 2010 that turned into a gunfight, in which a police officer was killed.
Fad, who grew up in tough Paris suburbs, has made several television appearances and co-authored two books about his delinquent youth and rise as a criminal.
He said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat.