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After escaping from prison by helicopter, France’s “fugitive king” got 14 years added to his prison term

addicted to freedom: A French professional criminal who made a spectacular escape from prison in a hijacked helicopter has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a Paris court.

Redouin Fayed, a French criminal who describes himself as “addicted to freedom” and has several convictions for armed robbery, escaped from Reau prison, 50 kilometers southeast of Paris, in July 2018.

In a scene like an action movie, three gunmen posing as flying trainees commandeer their teacher’s helicopter and order the pilot to land in the prison yard.

They threw smoke bombs to confuse the guards, while an accomplice, Fayed’s older brother Rashid, used a disc wheel to cut open the doors leading to the criminal’s residence.
Fayed, who was visiting another brother named Brahim, then left with his comrades in a helicopter and was accompanied by the cheers of other prisoners. This operation only took a few minutes.

addicted to freedom
independent

She managed to stay out of jail for three months before police finally tracked her down in Crail, a town north of Paris, where she had disguised herself as a Muslim woman wearing a burqa.
Incredibly, this was Fayed’s second prison break. In 2013, he used explosives to break out of Skodin prison in the north, before being recaptured the following month.

The Algerian-born Frenchman committed his first bank robbery in 1990 and specialized in attacking armored vans. His first conviction was in 1998.

During a brief period of “going straight” in the 2010s, he even wrote a book about his career and appeared on national television. He claims to have been inspired to enter a life of crime by movie bad guys like Tony Montana in Scarface.

When the sentence was handed down by a judge, the courtroom was packed with more than 100 people.

Prosecutors described him as a “social predator” and a “talented manipulator” and warned jurors not to be swayed by his charms.

faid-addicted to freedom
EPA

Faed was seen laughing and joking with 11 other defendants, one of whom was his 65-year-old brother Rachid, who greeted him with a kiss on the cheek.
The 51-year-old, clearly enjoying the attention, told the audience he was wearing running shoes for the trial. “Because you never know. The light goes out and when it comes back on, poof—I’m gone!”

He admitted that he ran away because he was bored.

He said: “I am in a concrete coffin 23 out of 24 hours… What should I do?” Kick my heels endlessly?”

Describing the moment he walked into the prison yard, he said he “got the sun right in his face, like the first taste of freedom.”

“It was indescribable. An enclosure that suddenly opens to the four winds, to space, to infinity.”

I have an addiction that is killing me and I can’t cure it. I am addicted to freedom.”

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