AlphaBay suspected co-founder Alexandre Cazes found dead in Thai jail

Ivan Schwartz
July 15, 2017

According to the Bangkok Post, during the arrest on July 5 in the Thawi Watthana district of Bangkok, investigators seized four Lamborghini cars and three houses worth approximately 400 million baht in total (nearly $12 million).

Last week, we reported that AlphaBay, an illegal goods marketplace on the Dark Web, went down without any comment from the site's administrators.

Cazes, who was arrested by Thailand authorities on July 5th, the same day AlphaBay went down, was found dead in his cell due to apparent suicide, according to Canada's foreign affairs department.

Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen and allegedly one of the site's operators, was arrested in the bust, WSJ's sources claim. 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.

So far, this situation has not been resolved, which only makes it more plausible to assume the AlphaBay administrator was indeed arrested.

Melissa Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, stated Cazes was taken into custody by Thai authorities "with a view toward extradition to face federal criminal charges in the United States". United States officials requested his extradition.

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

He was found dead at 7.35am today on the squalid toilet floor of his cell having hanged himself from the bathroom door with a towel. According to a new report, AlphaBay has suffered the same fate and worldwide authorities have shut it down. On the platform, the admin is known as "deSnakes", which very well could indeed by Cazes.

By October 2015, AlphaBay had over 200,000 users, and the market continued to grow at a steady pace, receiving a new influx of users after fellow TheRealDeal market mysteriously vanished in the summer of 2016.

AlphaBay took on the mantle from the infamous Pirate Bay before it to become the largest marketplaces on the dark web.

There are a number of outstanding questions regarding the demise of AlphaBay.

Avi Kasztan, chief exec of Sixgill, predicted that "Dream Market" is likely to become the next major player on the dark web. Some users on Reddit suspected an "exit scam", in which AlphaBay's founders had shuttered the site and absconded with piles of bitcoins.

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