AlphaBay Dark Web Market Taken Down After Law Enforcement Raids

Officers visited his plush apartment and seized a grey Lamborghini bought in Thailand

Like Silk Road's alleged mastermind Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of being behind AlphaBay, Canadian citizen Alexandre Cazes, found himself behind bars after his arrest at the request of United States authorities. Members of the high-technology crime division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are now searching Cazes' apartment in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and have claimed at least some of the site's servers, opening the possibility that other AlphaBay operators may be swept up in the investigation pending what the cybercrime unit is able to recover. According to a source speaking with the Bangkok Post, police seized four Lamborghinis and about ฿400 million ($15.2 million) from Cazes when they arrested him. According to the Wall Street Journal, it wasn't immediately clear whether the defendant had legal representation.

Alexandre Cazes, a 26-year-old Canadian, was found in a cell at Bangkok's Narcotics Suppression Bureau only an hour before he was due to meet with public prosecutors over proceedings for his extradition to the United States.

The raids, along with the arrest and death of the primary operator of the site, appears to spell the end for AlphaBay. The officer unlocked and entered the cell and found Cazes dead in the toilet. Authorities believe the suspect used the towel to hang himself.

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A representatives for Canada's foreign affairs department confirmed Cazes "passed away in Thailand" but declined to comment further, according to the report. The Criminal Court in Thailand issued a warrant for the suspect's arrest on June 30 at the request of USA law enforcement authorities. It opened in 2014 in the wake of the 2013 closure of Silk Road, a similar cryptomarket.

But a new report from The Wall Street Journal claims that AlphaBay was actually taken down in a coordinated action by the authorities in the U.S., Canada and Thailand. The researcher stated that AlphaBay sold more than $5 million worth of stolen credit card information in the first half of 2017 alone. Police believe the marketplace's total daily sales were between $600,000 - $800,000 at its height. 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.

Some users on the /r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit blamed the vulnerabilities of AlphaBay for the shutdown of the website.

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