An unthinkable scenario occurred on Tuesday, November 21, during a tax audit in Pas-de-Calais. A tax officer was killed after being kidnapped with a colleague at a second-hand goods dealer in Bullecourt who then committed suicide.
The victim, a senior public finance inspector, was found dead “probably from stab wounds”, said the Arras prosecutor’s office in a press release. The Inspector “who accompanied him, very shocked, was taken care of by the emergency services. His days are not in danger “he added.
Both “carried out a home intervention to carry out an audit of the accounts” of the company of a 46-year-old man, who would then have kidnapped and tied them up, explains the press release. “The defendant would have killed himself by firearm”according to the prosecution.
“An unspeakable drama”
The public finance officer “just doing his job. (…) Today he didn’t come back. He was killed in the context of this tax audit”, said the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, who spoke in the middle of the evening before the Senate. He mentioned “an unspeakable drama”.
According to a source close to the investigation, the inspector who accompanied him was found at the home of the junk dealer “tied to a chair and deeply shocked”. “When the gendarmes arrived, the two men were dead”said a second source close to the investigation, noting that the gendarmerie had been alerted shortly after 6 p.m. “by a witness”.
The research section of the Hauts-de-France gendarmerie was seized as part of a flagrance investigation for assassination.
The second-hand dealer, divorced and father of two children, “had arrived in the village four years ago”told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Eric Bianchin, the mayor of Bullecourt, a village of 250 inhabitants located south of Arras.
“He had bought a farm where he was selling at home. He emptied houses, garage sales and resold at home.he added. “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, residents “saw him very little”because “He left very early in the morning for his activity”.
“Public finance officers are in mourning”
The colleagues of the victim, who worked for “the departmental directorate of public finances [DDFIP] Pas-de-Calais and more broadly all public finance officials are upset and in mourning tonight “declared Mr. Attal who specified that he would go to the DDFIP of Arras Tuesday morning. “Tonight, the public service has the face of this brigade leader”he insisted, before inviting a moment of contemplation “in his honor”.
Called around 7 p.m., the firefighters confirmed in the early evening “two deceased in Bullecourt and one injured, about to be transported”specifying that the intervention was ” ongoing “. The public prosecutor of Arras, Sylvain Barbier Sainte-Marie, and the prefect of Pas-de-Calais, Jacques Billant, went to the site.
Around 11 p.m., the gendarmes were still deployed in the village of Bullecourt, deserted that evening, blocking the street from the second-hand dealer’s home, noted an AFP journalist.