French gangster recaptured months after prison break

By Hajer M'tiri

PARIS (AA) – French police have arrested a gangster who fled prison in July aboard a hijacked helicopter in a commando-style operation, French interior minister said on Wednesday.

Gerard Collomb, the outgoing interior minister whose resignation was accepted by President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, said Redoine Faid, 46, was arrested in the town of Creil, north of Paris, three months after his escape.

Faid, once dubbed as France's "public enemy number one", was helped by three heavily-armed men with assault rifles to escape via a helicopter from Reau prison in the Paris region in less than 10 minutes.

He had been serving a 25-year sentence for a failed robbery in 2010. This was Faid's second prison break.

Previously, he escaped a prison in northern France in 2013 after using four guards as human shields. He made the escape less than half an hour after arriving at the prison, and spent six weeks on the run.

In 2009, he was freed after serving 10 years in jail. In his confessional book about his life of crime released in 2010, Faid said his life was inspired by films like "Scarface."