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AlphaBay Market Shut Down: Site Goes Offline After Raids, Founder Kills Himself

Described by local press as having lived in Thailand for 8 years and being married to a Thai woman, Cazes is subsequently alleged to have committed suicide in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau building in Laksi district, Bangkok on June 12. The dark web marketplace was considered the the most prominent illicit trading site since the Silk Road went offline in 2013.Last week, we reported that AlphaBay, an illegal goods marketplace on the Dark Web, went down without any comment from the site’s administrators.Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen and allegedly one of the site’s operators, was arrested in the bust, WSJ’s sources claim. When the officer entered the cell, where the suspect was held alone, he found Cazes dead.Cazes had been living in Thailand for about eight years at the time of his arrest.The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on June 30 at the request of U.S. authorities. The Bangkok Post reports that when he was arrested, police impounded four luxury Lamborghini cars registered in his name and papers for three houses with a combined value of 400 million baht ($11.7 million), a rather large some for somebody who described his occupation as “computer programmer”. AlphaBay averaged sales of between $600,000 and $800,000 a day, much of that transferred through bitcoin, and specialized in transfers of drugs, guns, counterfeit credit cards, stolen credit card numbers, online-fraud tutorials, and other illegal materials. Both sites were accessible via Tor, a network that takes steps to preserve the anonymity of its users.In the wake of Silk Road’s closure by the Federal Bureau of Investigation back in 2013, a number of other dark web marketplaces sprung up in its place, the most successful of these being AlphaBay. The Montreal Gazette reports that the raids “were part of a larger, worldwide investigation involving the FBI and other agencies” into the sale of merchandise on the darknet. A thread on Reddit claimed Cazes was actually DeSnake one of the admins of AlphaBay. It is not known if the raids resulted in the seizure of computers hosting AlphaBay or if Cazes shared any information about the site with authorities prior to 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.