Motorists on a busy road were shocked to see a dying man staggering along the side of the A54 motorway between the southern towns of Nîmes and Arles on Sunday.

"/> Motorists on a busy road were shocked to see a dying man staggering along the side of the A54 motorway between the southern towns of Nîmes and Arles on Sunday.

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CRIME

Man shot dead over cannabis theft

Motorists on a busy road were shocked to see a dying man staggering along the side of the A54 motorway between the southern towns of Nîmes and Arles on Sunday.

Local newspaper Midi Libre reported that the 20-year-old man was shot dead after trying to steal cannabis that was growing nearby.

“We believe that four young people from Nîmes decided to steal some cannabis plants growing in a field next to the motorway,” said the Nîmes public prosecutor, Robert Gelli. “While three of them were in the field, shots were fired.”

Gelli said the shots probably came from “the owners of the field.” A fourth man had been standing lookout next to the two cars the group had arrived in.

Passing motorists thought the man was a hunter who had been hit. He collapsed on the hard shoulder of the motorway and emergency services were called.

Police quickly rounded up a number of people for questioning on Sunday afternoon but no charges have yet been laid.

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CRIME

French tax agent ‘kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit’

A French tax inspector was kidnapped and killed, reportedly while carrying out a tax audit in a village in northern France on Monday evening.

French tax agent 'kidnapped and killed while conducting an audit'

The 43-year-old tax agent died on Monday night in northern France, with local media Actu Pas-de-Calais reporting that he was killed by the man whom he was auditing, who later died by suicide.

Emergency services were called to the small village of Bullecourt in the Pas-de-Calais département of northern France at around 8pm. Upon arriving they found two men dead and a woman, reported to be another employee of the tax office, tied up.

She was not believed to be seriously injured but was treated for shock. 

The public prosecutor released a statement saying that both tax agents “were carrying out an at-home audit to check the accounts” of the local man reported to be a brocanteur (antique dealer), who then “kidnapped them and tied them up.” 

“The accused then killed himself with a firearm,” according to the prosecutor’s office. 

The mayor of Bullecourt, a small village of 250 inhabitants, told AFP that he remembered the accused antique dealer as a “helpful” and “ordinary person” who had “integrated into the village.”

Gabriel Attal, the Public Accounts Minister, issued a statement on Monday evening expressing his condolences and saying that the tax agent “was simply doing his job” and that “today, he did not return.” The minister lamented that the agent was “killed while completing a tax audit.”

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