A notorious gangster has escaped by helicopter from a prison in the Paris region, French authorities say.

Redoine Faid escaped after three heavily armed accomplices landed the helicopter in the prison courtyard.

Faid is a well-known criminal in France, where he was imprisoned for a series of robberies.

In 2009 he wrote a book about his experiences of growing up in Paris’s crime-ridden suburbs and graduating into a life of crime.

He claimed to have turned his back on crime, but he was involved in a failed 2010 robbery which killed a municipal police officer.

It was for this crime that Faid was serving a 25-year sentence at the Seine-et-Marne prison.

Faid has escaped from detention previously.

In 2013, he escaped less than half an hour after arriving at a prison in northern France, taking four guards hostage as human shields and destroying a number of doors.

Faid and his accomplices escaped from the prison courtyard – which was unprotected by a net – without injuring anyone, French news website Europe 1 reports.

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