Published: Sat, July 15, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Canadian man wanted for drugs trafficking is found hanged

Canadian man wanted for drugs trafficking is found hanged

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.

Authorities arrested Cazes within hours of seizing AlphaBay on July 4 and abruptly shuttering the website, ending its reign as one of the dark web's most successful underground marketplaces.

AlphaBay Market, a prominent dark web marketplace that facilitates the sale of drugs and other illegal items, went down yesterday and users are panicking, afraid the moderators have shut down the site for good and run off with the loot. Cazes died by suicide on July 13 when he was discovered hanged in his cell on July 13.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Canadian suspected of running AlphaBay was arrested in Thailand on 5 July following an worldwide police operation involving authorities in the U.S. and Canada as well as Thailand.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the news on Thursday, police in the United States, Canada, and Thailand collaborated to arrest Alexandre Cazes, who allegedly was the head of the online operation.

Cazes had been living in Thailand for about eight years at the time of his arrest.

Acting on a United States request, Thai police arrested Cazes, known to some as DeSnake, who had been living in Bangkok for seven or eight years, as AlphaBay came to dominate the sale of illegal goods online, including hardcore drugs, weapons, pornography and stolen credit cards. It opened in 2014 in the wake of the 2013 closure of Silk Road, a similar cryptomarket. According to DeepDotWeb, a site that monitors the Dark Web, the top three most popular Dark Web markets after AlphaBay's demise are RAMP (Russian-speaking), Dream Market, and Hansa Market. Both sites were accessible via Tor, a network that takes steps to preserve the anonymity of its users.

Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University studying underground marketplaces, said the total sales on AlphaBay had an average of $600,000 to $800,000 a day. 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.

Cazes was wanted by U.S. authorities.

Cazes had reportedly turned AlphaBay into a lucrative business.

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.

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