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French tax inspector killed during visit to antique dealer

Scene of killing of tax inspector in northern FranceImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Police are searching for evidence at the farm owned by the dealer

A French tax inspector has been killed during an audit at the home of a dealer in second-hand goods, police say.

Officers found the victim lying on the floor and his female colleague bound to a chair at the dealer’s property in the small northern village of Bullecourt.

The 43-year-old tax inspector was reportedly stabbed to death.

The dealer’s body was discovered with bullet wounds in an outlying building. The local prosecutor’s office says he shot himself.

The 46-year-old businessman collected items from private homes and car-boot sales to resell them at the farm he owned, according to Éric Bianchin, the mayor of Bullecourt, a village of 250 people south-east of Arras.

“I never had any problem with him,” the mayor told French media, adding that he had arrived in the village four years before.

However, trouble clearly arose during his discussion with the team from the tax office who had gone to his home on Monday to check his books.

When the alarm was raised “by a witness” early on Monday evening, emergency services arrived at the farm to find the inspector and farm-owner dead.

The inspector who was killed “was doing his job” but “never came back”, said French public accounts minister Gabriel Attal, who visited the dead inspector’s colleagues on Tuesday.

His surviving colleague is being treated for shock.

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