- Odd News
By Peter Allen
PUBLISHED: 05:07 EST, 14 April 2013 | UPDATED: 05:52 EST, 14 April 2013
The criminal mastermind behind a notorious armed robbery in which a policewoman was killed dynamited himself out of a high-security prison today.
Redoine Faid, one of the most feared armed robbers in France, broke out of Sequedin jail, near Lille.
The 40-year-old is armed and dangerous, and police have issued an all ports alert which includes the Channels one from which Faid could reach Britain.
Redoine Faid used explosives to blast through five prison doors and break free in the northern town of Sequedin
Members of the ERIS Police service stand guard in front of the destroyed door of the Sequedin prison
Faid took four prison wardens hostage early on Saturday morning and then blew up five heavy doors.
Police believe that his wife may have smuggled explosives wrapped in handkerchiefs into the prison.
Once outside, Faid released the guards and was driven away at high speed in a car which was later found burned out near the town of Ronchin.
French criminal Redoine Faid who masterminded an armed robbery, broke out of prison using dynamite
Detectives were trying to trace a second vehicle which Faid is thought to have jumped in to.
'It all happened very quickly,' sad a prison spokesman. 'The escape was clearly very well organised - we are still busy trying to work out the facts.'
Faid was named as the chief suspect for the organising of a botched armed robbery in 2010 in which Aurelie Fouquet, a 26-year-old policeman was killed.
Some 27 people were arrested in a sting operation following the murder, but Faid escaped.
He was finally arrested in June 2011 and sent to prison for eight years.
He is also notorious for his brazen attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles.
Etiene Dobremetz, a prison warden union official at Sequedin, said the four men taken hostage had all been 'deeply traumatised'.
It was Mr Dobremetz who accused Faid's wife of supplying the explosives, but the criminal's lawyer, Jean-Louis Pelletier, denied this, saying she had not even visited the prison today.
Mr Dobremetz said he was 'not at all surprised' that his client had escaped, adding: 'That a prisoner should escape is, in principal, not particularly surprising.
Redoine Faid is armed and dangerous, and police have issued an all ports alert which includes the Channels port to Britain
Four prison wardens hostage were taken hostage by armed robber Redoine Faid before he blew up prison doors
Members of the Eris police service are investigating at the Sequedin prison after one of France's most dangerous gangsters blasted his way out of jail
'Especially when the prisoner is someone in his situation, and, if I may say so, someone with his social network. There was certainly the possibility that this could happen.'
Faid, who grew up on a council estate outside Paris, is notorious for attacking armoured vehicles carrying cash.
In 1998 he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for at least eight armed robberies and bank thefts, but in 2009 he was released on parole.
Armed police were called after dangerous gangster Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in northern France
An all ports warning has been issued after Redoine Faid used dynamite to blast his way out of prison in France