REDOINE FAID AND THE GREAT PRISON BREAK

Lille – French police were on a
manhunt on Sunday for a notorious
armed robber who staged a
dramatic prison break in northern
France after briefly taking several
guards hostage.

image

               Redoine Faid

Lille prosecutor Frederic Fevre said
about 100 investigators were
involved in the hunt for Redoine
Faid, known for brazen attacks on
cash-in-transit vehicles, after he
blasted his way out of a jail in the
northern town of Sequedin on
Saturday.

Faid, a 40-year-old who risked a
heavy new sentence over the 2010
death of a policewoman, used
explosives to blast through five
prison doors and took hostage four
prison guards, who were later
released.

Investigators were on Sunday trying
to determine how Faid had
managed to obtain explosives and a
firearm inside the prison, and who
may have acted as accomplices.
“A thorough investigation has
begun. Obviously he had one or
more accomplices. The
investigators will now determine
how he was able to obtain
explosives and a weapon,” Fevre
told AFP.

On Sunday police detained a
brother who had regularly visited
Faid in prison for questioning,
Fevre said.
“No potential lead can be ignored.
The doors must be closed one after
the other,” he said, adding that the
brother had been at the prison on
Saturday to meet Faid but had not
been able to do so.

French officials have warned that
Faid is considered armed and
“especially dangerous”.

Writer

France has issued a Europe-wide
arrest warrant and called in
Interpol for help amid fears he
may have already fled across the
border into Belgium, which is only
a few kilometres from the prison
where Faid was being held.
A spokesperson for Belgian Federal
Police, Kaatje Natens, said
roadblocks had not been ordered
but that train stations and airports
were being closely watched.

Police have said the breakout was
planned with meticulous precision
and authorities insisted there was
no fault on the part of prison
workers.

It began at 08:30 (06:30 GMT) on
Saturday while Faid was in a
visitor’s room. Armed with the
firearm and explosives, he took
four guards hostage and in about
half an hour blasted his way out of
the prison, where an accomplice
was waiting in a vehicle.

image

All of the hostages were released
unharmed, one just outside the
prison, another a few hundred
metres away and the last two along
the highway.

The getaway car used in the escape
was found burnt along the highway,
where Faid is believed to have
switched to a second vehicle.
Faid is known for co-authoring two
books after a decade in prison for
robbery, about his delinquent
youth and rise as a criminal in
Paris’s impoverished suburbs.
He said his life of crime was
inspired by American films such as
Scarface and Heat – where Robert
De Niro’s armoured car heist has
been cited as the model for real
life attacks in South Africa,
Colombia and other countries.
“Movies for me were like a user’s
guide for armed robbery,” he told
the LCI news channel when his
autobiography was released in
2010.

After insisting that he had turned
his back on crime, Faid was in
2010 suspected of being the
mastermind of an armed robbery
in which a young policewoman was
killed in a shoot-out.
Faid, nicknamed “The Writer”,
landed back in prison in 2011 for
failing to comply with his parole
conditions and was due to serve the
remaining eight years of his
original sentence.

He potentially faced 30 more years
over the policewoman’s death.

- AFP

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