AlphaBay taken down by law enforcement across 3 countries


Thailand police reported that Alexandre Cazes was found hanging from a bath towel in the wake of an apparent suicide.

Last week, we reported that AlphaBay, an illegal goods marketplace on the Dark Web, went down without any comment from the site's administrators. A Canadian citizen was allegedly one of the people operating the website, and was found dead in his jail cell after being arrested in Thailand.

Cazes had been living in Thailand with his wife for eight years, working as a computer programmer.

He said he was a drugs trafficker who arrived in Thailand from the US and officers had been working with American authorities after an arrest warrant was sent. Thai authorities said they'd seized four Lamborghini cars and three upmarket residences with a combined value of $11.7m (400 million Thai Baht).

AlphaBay was founded in December 2014, taking the place of the Silk Road Marketplace, which was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2013. Now, it appears the cause of the shutdown was an global effort from law enforcement that nabbed one of the site's operators, a Canadian citizen named Alexandre Cazes, while he was in Thailand, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal published yesterday. The site remained essentially inaccessible for days after the fact, prompting some users to speculate about an exit scheme.

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The Merkle goes on to say that if Cazes was the AlphaBay administrator, the news doesn't bode well for the marketplace and all of the money still locked inside its wallets. One of, if not the most popular destination for illicit goods on the dark net, the site took over Silk Road's throne after its founder was arrested.

In addition to drugs, AlphaBay made a significant chunk of its revenue enabling the sale of stolen credit card numbers, as well as firearms. Two raids related to the bust were also carried out in Canada, Montreal Gazette reports.

Cazes had reportedly turned AlphaBay into a lucrative business.

This seems to be the end for the infamous marketplace, which averaged between $600,000 and $800,000 worth of transactions per day. USA authorities had apparently been seeking to extradite Cazes at the time of his death.

The first sign that AlphaBay may have been the target of law enforcement came shortly before the sudden down time, when a prominent AlphaBay vendor was arrested and willingly handed over his account to law enforcement.