Shock in France over murder of tax inspector

Shock in France over murder of tax inspector


The French government expressed shock on Tuesday after a tax inspector was stabbed to death while trying to check the accounts of a business owner in the north of the country.

The murder victim, a 43-year-old finance official, was found dead on Monday, “most likely from repeated stab wounds,” said prosecutors in the northern French city of Arras.

The alleged killer, a 46-year-old antiques dealer, is said to have killed himself with a gun at the time, it was said.

The suspect, described by the mayor as “a completely normal guy”, locked up the tax investigator and a colleague during an audit of his company, it said.

“The Republic is crying for one of its own,” said Budget Minister Gabriel Attal.

He said it was “disgusting” that an officer was killed “for doing his job”.

The inspector, accompanied by a colleague, came to the antique dealer’s home on Monday afternoon to check his accounts.

Attal said agents are normally sent on tax inspection missions alone, but this time there were reinforcements because of tensions on previous visits to the antique dealer’s shop.

Prosecutors said the businessman tied her up and stabbed the inspector, leaving the colleague “terribly shocked” but otherwise unharmed, prosecutors said.

A union for tax officials said the case showed its members had a “potentially dangerous” job.

The trader, a divorced father of two, moved to the hamlet of Bullecourt four years ago, its mayor Eric Bianchin told AFP.

He bought a farm from which he sold junk he picked up at local auctions and flea markets.

The mayor said he was “a completely normal guy” and described him as “helpful and well integrated in the village” with around 250 inhabitants.

A neighbor, Geoffrey Fournier, described the alleged killer as “discreet” and “apparently hard-working” whose business “seems to be doing well”.

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