“Mégalo”, “mythomaniac”, “intrepid”: the multi-recidivist robber Rédoine Faïd, 49, is a figure of French organized crime, best known as the king of escape.
Nicknamed “the writer” by the police, Rédoine Faïd claims in his autobiography “Braqueur, des cités au grand bantidisme” (2010), to be inspired by the great gangsters of cinema like “Thief” by Michael Mann.
He also says he took “Scarface” by Brian de Palma “in the face”. “We went to see him ten times at the cinema. We knew all the words”.
Faïd was born in 1972 and grew up in a housing estate in Creil, in the Oise. Her father went to live in Algeria, leaving her sick mother. The death of the latter seems to shock Rédoine Faïd.
Divorced, he himself has no children but is a stepfather.
He is above all the last of a family of ten children and is very close to his brother Rachid.
During his indictment interrogation, this big brother will quote Plutarch for any statement: “A brother is a friend given by nature who can neither flee nor fail”.
For Rédoine, childhood is the time of the first thefts: at six years old, “confectionery” in a shopping center, he jokes in his book. He begins the robberies towards his majority. Specialty: armored van attacks.
Sentenced in 2002 and 2003 to two prison sentences for robberies, he will serve more than ten years in prison, before being released in the spring of 2009 on parole.
Self-proclaimed “repentant”, he became a commercial executive in Paris, between several appearances on TV sets.
– Deadly shootout –
Jean-François Maugard, former commander of the banditry repression brigade (BRB) who crossed his path from 1998, describes him as a “robber who watches himself rob”, with “a dreamlike, fantasized vision of the robbery”.
But Rédoine Faïd was arrested in June 2011 near Lille and imprisoned for violating the conditions of this parole.
He had then just escaped a series of arrests a few months earlier as part of the investigation into the shooting which had cost the life of a municipal police officer, Aurélie Fouquet, in 2010 in Villiers-sur-Marne, and which will earn him a conviction on appeal in April 2018 to 25 years in prison.
Three months after this verdict, he fled by helicopter under the noses of his guards in Réau (Seine-et-Marne), with the help of hooded accomplices equipped with grinders but also assault rifles.
He was finally arrested after three months on the run in his hometown of Creil, after using a full-body burqa to get around without being recognized.
This spectacular escape earned him a return to the assizes, with his ten alleged accomplices, AFP learned Thursday from a source close to the investigation.
“He often prepared his escapes well, they were spectacular, but he always missed his mares,” said a police commissioner, former head of the Central Office for the Fight against Organized Crime.
The man is presented as “a manipulator”, “megalo” by a police source, while a former manager of the Réau penitentiary center told investigators that “he did not generate an incident” and was “polite, courteous”.
– Released in 2046? –
At the very moment of his escape, Faïd also appeared “very serene, walking calmly”, according to a supervisor then in post on July 1, 2018.
Already, in 2013, he had escaped in less than half an hour from the prison of Sequedin (North), using four supervisors as human shields, before being taken back six weeks later in the Paris region.
Today, Rédoine Faïd is in solitary confinement in Fleury-Mérogis. There, once a month in the visiting room, he receives visits from his “friend” Yazid Kherfi, a former robber who has become a mediator.
“He is solid, he gets up early in the morning, he tells me + I am hanging on, I will not kill myself, I do sports, I talk to myself, I read a lot of books +”, of philosophy in particular, supports- he to AFP.
“I think that during his trial, he will tell the judge that he was in the quiet visiting room and then we came to get him,” predicts Yazid Kherfi.
Even before the verdict of the Assize Court, his release from prison is scheduled for September 2046.
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Rédoine Faïd, “megalo” robber and king of the escape