Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

AlphaBay, Dark Web Marketplace, Shut Down by International Action

AlphaBay, Dark Web Marketplace, Shut Down by International Action

The cell where Thai police said Canadian Alexandre Cazes man was found dead.

Alphabay went offline on July...

Cazes was recently detained in connection with an global probe involving AlphaBay, an underground website where vendors sold illegal goods ranging from hardcore drugs to stolen credit card numbers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing individuals familiar with the matter. The officer unlocked and entered the cell and found Cazes dead in the toilet.

He had been staying in Thailand for about eight years, worked as a computer programmer and had a Thai wife who had no doubts about his death, Pol Maj Gen Chayapote said. Thailand authorities cooperated with both the USA and Canada to make the arrest, with the U.S. leading the charge on extradition.

A source said police who arrested Cazes had impounded four Lamborghini cars and three houses worth about 400 million baht in total.

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Acting on a United States request, Thai police arrested Cazes, known to some as DeSnake, who had been living in Bangkok for seven or eight years, as AlphaBay came to dominate the sale of illegal goods online, including hardcore drugs, weapons, pornography and stolen credit cards. 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. AlphaBay, like Silk Road, was a Tor-based website that enabled individuals to buy and sell illegal items that spanned everything from drugs and guns to manuals on how to commit fraud.

The establishment of AlphaBay followed the seizure and closure of former underground dark web market Silk Road, something that itself was taken down in late 2013.

In addition to drugs, AlphaBay made a significant chunk of its revenue enabling the sale of stolen credit card numbers, as well as firearms. Nicolas Christin - associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University and online marketplace expert - told WSJ that estimated the daily sales on the site were between $600,000 and $800,000. Two raids related to the bust were also carried out in Canada, Montreal Gazette reports.

The Journal reports that Cazes was, indeed, one of AlphaBay's main operators. Threat intelligence experts reckon that other darknet marketplaces will grow to fill the gap left by AlphaBay's demise.

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