Hanged man was 'dark web mastermind'

For a long period of time, most AlphaBay users speculated that the market's admins pulled off an "exit scam", a term used to describe when a Dark Web market shuts down and the owners steal all the cryptocurrency from escrow wallets. According to the Wall Street Journal, an worldwide police action took place in the United States, Thailand and Canada.

Alexandre Cazes was wanted int he U.S. in connection with the Alpha Bay, a dark web site for drugs, weapons and other contraband which went off line when he was arrested in Thailand.

On the same day he was arrested, Canadian police forces carried out two raids on residences in Quebec, according to Camille Habel, a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Montreal.

Local authorities had apprehended Cazes based on an worldwide arrest warrant issued by the U.S. for drug trafficking charges. According to the Wall Street Journal, it wasn't immediately clear whether the defendant had legal representation. However, she declined to comment further on the case due to privacy reasons.

Cazes likely hanged himself, Thai police told the Bangkok Post. Cazes died by suicide on July 13 when he was discovered hanged in his cell on July 13.

He had reportedly lived in Thailand for seven or eight years and has a Thai wife, according to Thai police. The Criminal Court in Thailand issued a warrant for the suspect's arrest on June 30 at the request of US law enforcement authorities. While police confiscated Bt400 million worth of his assets, including four Lamborghini super cars and three properties, his only known background was that he worked as a computer programmer. It opened in 2014 in the wake of the 2013 closure of Silk Road, a similar cryptomarket. Andrei Barysevich, a director at the threat intelligence company Recorded Future Inc., told the Wall Street Journal that AlphaBay not only focused on the sale of drugs, but also allowed the advertising of products and services that other underground markets banned, such as stolen credit card numbers and online fraud tutorials. According to Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies online marketplaces, AlphaBay's operators earned millions of dollars each year in commissions.

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. Seemed like PMs were leaked every couple months.

It is unknown how many raids took place in the US.


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