French antiques dealer kills his tax inspector

PARIS (Reuters) - A French antiques dealer in northern France has killed his tax inspector and then killed himself, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Arras prosecutor Sylvain Barbier Sainte Mairie told reporters that two tax inspectors, a man and a woman, had come to the suspect's house on Monday to audit the accounts of his company a "brocante" shop dealing in antiques and second-hand goods, where he had threatened them with a gun and tied them up.

He said the 43-year old tax inspector had been found dead and tied up, having suffered multipe stab wounds to his back and thorax. The other inspector, a 39-year-old woman, was found tied to a chair and freed by police.

The suspect was found dead in an annex to the house in an apparent suicide due to gunshot, with a gunshot wound to the chest and a gun found near to him.

"We believe this is a case of premeditated murder, as the victims had made an appointment with the suspect, so he knew he would meet them, and we also found tightening straps on the scene," the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said a tax investigation had been under way since May this year, but he said he could give no details about the nature of the investigation.

The murdered tax inspector was the head of the northern city of Arras public finances centre. The suspect had no criminal record, but in 2019 he had been forced to take anger management classes following an altercation with minors, the prosecutor said.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq; editing by Barbara Lewis)