French convict caught after dramatic helicopter prison break

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Police have caught one of France’s most wanted men in his home town in a pre-dawn raid, three months after his spectacular helicopter escape from prison.

Redoine Faid was arrested in Creil, north of Paris, without resistance, justice minister Nicole Belloubet said.

“Numerous clues were acted on so the arrest could be made,” Ms Belloubet said on Europe 1 radio.

She said the criminal – infamous for twice escaping from behind bars – would be jailed in a high-security prison with “extremely tight surveillance”.

He will be prosecuted for his latest prison break, she added.

Faid, 46, who had a long career as a serial robber, was serving 25 years for the 2010 death of a young police officer killed in a botched robbery.

Redoine Faid
Redoine Faid prior to a 2010 interview with French all-news TV channel LCI (SIPA via AP)

BFMTV and the newspaper Le Monde reported that two men, including Faid’s brother, and a woman were also arrested.

BFM showed scenes of the dishevelled interior inside the fifth-floor apartment, and reported that a revolver and automatic pistol were seized at the scene.

Some 80 police officers descended on the small apartment in Creil to make the arrests, various French media reported.

In late July, police spotted Faid in a car and launched a chase that ended in a car park of a shopping centre in Sarcelles, a northern Paris suburb.

Faid and another man abandoned their car and fled.

Fake explosives inside the vehicle and fake licence plates added to a growing stack of clues leading to his capture.

Faid had escaped from behind bars before – the previous time using explosives hidden in tissues.

In the 1990s, he led a gang involved in robbing banks and armoured vans and became known as France’s best-known gangster.

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