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Who is Mohamed Amra, “the Fly”, a French prisoner who was rescued in an ambush

A rare episode of violence shook the peaceful region of Normandy, in northern France, on Tuesday (14), when a group of armed men ambushed a prison train to free a criminal known as “The Fly”.

The attack occurred while 30-year-old Mohamed Amra was being transported from a hearing in Rouen to a nearby prison in Évreux.

The vehicle carrying the prisoner was on a highway when it was hit by gunfire, resulting in the death of two prison guards, while three others were seriously injured.

Known to authorities

Mohamed Amra, nicknamed “La Mouche”, or “The Fly”, is “very well known” by the French Judiciary system, receiving a total of 13 convictions, according to Paris public prosecutor, Laure Beccuau.

A court in Marseille is investigating Amra for a series of crimes, including participation in premeditated gang murder, involvement in kidnapping and hostage taking, according to Beccuau.

The affiliate of CNN in France, BFMTV, reports that the 30-year-old man is suspected of being a drug trafficking boss. Amra's lawyer, Hugues Vivier, disputes this information, saying there was nothing to alert authorities that his client had a “particularly dangerous” profile.

Beccuau told journalists that Amra's criminal record does not contain any convictions for drug-related offences.

Most of his convictions are related to aggravated robbery incidents, Beccuau explained, adding that he has been imprisoned in several facilities since January 2022.

On 10 May, Amra was found guilty of robbery by a court in Évreux, which resulted in an 18-month prison sentence.

He is also being investigated in Marseille for a kidnapping that resulted in a death, Beccuau highlighted.

Furthermore, the lawyer pointed out that the client had been placed under security level three — meaning he was not a maximum security prisoner. So only five police officers were escorting him from the courtroom back to prison.

Amra, who was born in the northern French city of Rouen, was first convicted by authorities in October 2009 at the age of 15, according to Beccuau.

Authorities believe he tried to escape from Évreux prison two days before the ambush. In an interview with BFMTV, Emmanuel Baudin, a prison guards union leader, said: “We know that he tried to escape two or three days ago, sawing the bars of his cell. So officials transferred him to a disciplinary unit.”

In an interview on French radio, Amra's mother said she started crying when she heard about the ambush.

“I broke down, I cried. I really wasn't well. How can lives be taken like this? It makes me sick… It’s serious,” she commented to France’s RTL radio network.

Searches are ongoing

A major operation to find Amra and the shooters who participated in the escape.

Interpol has issued a red notice, a request for law enforcement authorities around the world to locate and provisionally arrest Amra. This is not, as Interpol emphasizes, an international arrest warrant.

The Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, said on X that he mobilized national security and “hundreds” of police officers to hunt for the suspect.

French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told reporters that the incident was the first time a French prison employee had died while working since 1992.

French President Emmanuel Macron wrote in X that “every effort is being made to find the perpetrators of this crime so that justice can be done in the name of the French people.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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