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The multi-repeat and multi-convicted robber, whose trial opens in Paris on Tuesday, flew from Réau prison in July 2018, thanks to the help of three hooded men. One of them is still wanted.

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A helicopter abandoned by French robber Rédoine Faïd after his escape from Réau prison, in Gonesse, north of Paris, on July 1, 2018.

No risk of imminent escape had been detected about him, but the deputy head of the Réau penitentiary center (Seine-et-Marne) had clearly spotted these drones which had sometimes flown over the establishment since Rédoine Faïd, robber multi-recidivist and multi-convicted, had been transferred to this ultra-secure prison in November 2017. She had notified her management by email in February 2018, also drawing attention to the absence of aerial anti-intrusion ropes above the courtyard. honour, to which, of course, the detainees did not have access. It is from this courtyard that Rédoine Faïd will take off in a helicopter five months later, during an escape worthy of the gangster films that have fascinated him since childhood, and which earned this 51-year-old man to appear before the Paris Assize Court from Tuesday 5 September.

Dimanche 1isJuly 2018 in the morning, Rédoine Faïd leaves cell 207 where he is in solitary confinement to find his brother Brahim, who has come to visit him. The day before, the detainee had asked to advance this meeting, first scheduled for the afternoon, so as not to miss the Spain-Russia match, in the round of 16 of the Football World Cup, broadcast at 4 p.m. Rédoine Faïd arrives at the visiting room at 9.15 a.m.

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It is 11:18 a.m. when an Alouette II, a small, old-fashioned helicopter from the 1950s, rushes into the main courtyard of the prison – it has since been equipped with anti-intrusion ropes. On board, three hooded men and the pilot they took hostage at an airfield 20 kilometers away. The latter is ordered to hover 1 meter above the ground. A hooded man stays on board with him, a second stands guard in the yard, assault rifle in hand, the third attacks the door of a building with a grinder, all in the fog of an obstructing smoke the vision of supervisors and cameras.

Ninety-five days on the run

The bolt of the door gives way in forty seconds, the man with the grinder enters a corridor, and reaches, two sawn iron grilles later, the area of ​​the visiting rooms, from which he extracts Rédoine Faïd, with whom he carries out the reverse route. We squeeze into the little Alouette II, which rises, then moves away to the cheers of other prisoners. The case lasted less than ten minutes, no shots were fired. The helicopter lands in Gonesse (Val-d’Oise), 50 kilometers to the north, its occupants climb into a first car, then a second, which enters the A1 motorway, crosses the toll of Senlis (Oise) , and evaporates. It is 12:11 p.m., Rédoine Faïd, one of the most closely watched prisoners in France, has disappeared. Once again.

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