French helicopter jailbreak gangster captured

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Paris : France's most-wanted gangster was on Wednesday captured by the police three months after he staged a dramatic prison break involving a helicopter.

Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in Reau, to the southeast of Paris, on July 1 with the help of several armed men who stormed the facility and brought the convict to a helicopter flown by an instructor who had been taken hostage.

Faid, 46, was arrested alongside his brother, two nephews and a woman in an apartment in his hometown of Creil, a town located to the north of the French capital, reports say.

"Capture of Redoine Faid: The judicial police have demonstrated their commitment, their resolve and their determination to uphold the law of the Republic," GĂ©rard Collomb, who was the Interior Minister until his resignation early Wednesday, wrote on his Twitter.

Investigators located the fugitive by tracking telephone calls made by his associates, the BBC reported. The French police found pistols on the property but there was no altercation during the operation.

Speaking to French media outlet Europe 1, French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said she was relieved the arrest did not end in violence.

"We're going to put him in a high-security facility where he will be watched extremely closely," said Belloubet.

Faid had been serving a 25-year sentence for orchestrating a botched robbery in 2010 in which a policewoman was killed. He previously managed to break out of prison in 2013.

Faid was first arrested in 1998 for armed robbery. He used to run a gang involved in armed robbery and extortion.

Faid is a fan of gangster films, which he credits with teaching him how to pull off raids. During a 1997 attack on a security van, he used and his accomplices used ice-hockey goalkeeper masks, mimicking actor Robert de Niro's gang in "Heat" film.

Published : Wednesday, October 03, 2018 15:00 [IST]
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