But now, reports are that AlphaBay was shut down after a coordinated effort by the U.S, Canada, and Thailand’s law enforcement authorities resulted in the arrest of the founder, Alexandre Cazes.
Reportedly appearing in 2014, AlphaBay became the next big dark web marketplace after the demise of Silk Road. However, unlike Silk Road which sold drugs, AlphaBay was involved in the selling of different types of products such as stolen credit card numbers and databases, etc.
Also, reports say that the sale of such credit cards alone amounted to USD 5 million in 2017. Furthermore, according to the director of Recorded Future Inc., Andrei Barysevich, the marketplace had transactions worth $600,000 to $800,000 taking place every day.
Authorities in the U.S., Canada, and Thailand ran a coordinated plan to arrest the founder, Alexandre Cazes, a 46-year-old Canadian male, the Wall Street Journal reports. The operation led to the arrest of Cazes who was taken into custody on the 5th of July and put in prison in Thailand.
The Wall Street Journal reports that after the arrest, the website was shut down leading the users of the marketplace to panic as they thought that it was an exit scam, in which scammers simply stop operating a site after they have raked in enough money.
When Cazes was arrested, he was found to be in possession of four Lamborghinis and USD 11.7 million in Thai currency.
Cazes hangs himself
According to Bangkok Post, during the time Cazes was about to be extradited to the U.S, a prison guard found him dead in the cell. Reports say that he hanged himself with a towel at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Laksi district.
Where to next?
Although the website has been shut down and the main perpetrator dead, there are concerns as to any accomplices that might have been involved in the operation of AlphaBay.
In fact, previously, when Silk Road was taken down with Ross Ulbricht, the founder of the website, being arrested, there were no accomplices identified at the time. However, later, further investigation revealed a secret service agent to have stolen around $800,000 worth of bitcoins generated from operating Silk Bank.