Alexandre Cazes, the suspected co-founder of the infamous dark web marketplace known as AlphaBay, has been found dead in his cell in a Thai jail. He had been arrested on a US request on July 5.
AlphaBay was shut down without warning or explanation on the same day. It’s since emerged that a law enforcement operation involving three countries was behind the shut-down.
US authorities were seeking Cazes’ extradition from Thailand, but according to local media, the 26-year-old Canadian was found hanging from a towel in his cell toilet just an hour before he was supposed to meet with prosecutors. Local police are treating his death as a suicide.
Cazes, known online as DeSnake, had been living in Thailand for seven or eight years, where he owned four Lamborghinis and several properties in Bangkok. His LinkedIn profile lists him as a computer programmer.
AlphaBay is conservatively estimated to have made $766,000 in revenue every day through the sale of narcotics, weapons, stolen credit cards, counterfeit documents and pornography. It was considered to be the largest contraband marketplace on the dark web, with over 300,000 product listings.
The site’s shutdown has reportedly thrown the international online drug trade into chaos, but experts say it’s unlikely to have a long-lasting effect on the supply and demand of narcotics via the dark web.
Source: SMH / Bangkok Post / Wired.
Image: Gerhard Joren / Getty.
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