Tax officer killed: what we know about the deadly tax audit in Pas-de-Calais

A 43-year-old tax official was killed on Monday after being kidnapped with a colleague as part of a tax audit at a second-hand goods dealer who then killed himself in Bullecourt, a small village of 250 inhabitants made up of houses in red bricks in the south of Arras (Pas-de-Calais). The point on what we know.

What happened

Around 6:15 p.m. on Monday, the gendarmes were alerted by a witness to the presence of a woman tied to a chair at the home of a resident of the town. Arrived quickly on the spot, the gendarmes indeed discover the shackled woman, but also the body of a man, probably killed with a knife. The first investigations establish that the victim is a 43-year-old tax inspector, who was accompanied by a colleague, “tied to a chair and deeply shocked”, adds a source close to the investigation.

The official had gone Monday afternoon to the home of the entrepreneur in the company of an inspector “to carry out an audit of the accounts”, and both would then have been sequestered and tied up by the junk dealer, added the prosecutor of the Republic. The maniac committed suicide by firearm. His body was found in an outbuilding of the house. “When the gendarmes arrived, the two men were dead,” said another source.

The research section of the Hauts-de-France gendarmerie was seized as part of a flagrance investigation for assassination. The public prosecutor of Arras should speak in more detail this Tuesday during the day, according to La Voix du Nord.

Who are the victims ?

The victim was head of the verification brigade in Pas-de-Calais. Her colleague found tied up, a “verifier” according to France Bleu, is a 38-year-old woman.

Who is the junk dealer?

The junk dealer, divorced and father of two children, “had arrived in the village four years ago”, details the mayor of the village, Éric Bianchin. “He had bought a farm in rue de Quéant, where he was selling at home. He emptied houses, garage sales and resold at home, ”says the city councilor. “It’s a small village, everyone knows each other. I never had a problem with him, he was helpful, he was a regular person. He was integrated into the village, ”continued the mayor. According to him, the inhabitants “saw him very little”, because “he left very early in the morning for his activity”.

“He was just doing his job”

“This man was simply doing his job (…) Today, he did not come back. He was killed as part of this tax audit, ”deplored Monday in the middle of the evening before the Senate the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal.

The colleagues of the victim, who worked for “the departmental directorate of public finances (DDFIP) of Pas-de-Calais and more broadly all public finance officers are this evening upset and in mourning”, he added, denouncing “an unspeakable tragedy”.

The minister said he would go to the DDFIP in Arras on Tuesday morning. He is expected there at 11:30 a.m. “Tonight, the public service has the face of this brigade leader”, he insisted, before inviting a moment of meditation “in his homage” in the hemicycle.

“It is the entire DGFiP (Directorate General of Public Finances) which is in mourning”, reacted Tuesday FO-DGFiP in a press release, condemning an “unspeakable act”. “This tragedy bitterly reminds everyone that public finance officials, in particular nomads, carry out potentially dangerous missions”, added the union, which calls for “learning the lessons of this tragedy to concretely strengthen the protection of personnel”.

Government spokesman Olivier Véran denounced “a terrible human tragedy”. “This junk dealer has committed the most terrible act possible,” he insisted on CNews. But “we don’t know the motivations, if we can talk about motivations,” he added.

“We are alongside officials to support them,” said Stanislas Guérini this Tuesday morning. Asked by BFMTV, the Minister of Public Service recognized a “tense societal climate”. “We know that for months or years, there has been a climate of threats and violence expressed among elected officials and civil servants,” he regretted.

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