Dark Web drug marketplace site AlphaBay shut down by authorities

15 July 2017

AlphaBay, a Dark Web marketplace for illegal drugs and other underground goods, has been shutdown since last week. A report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday pointed out that the cause of the shutdown was an international effort from law enforcement that nabbed one of the site's operators, a Canadian citizen named Alexandre Cazes, in Thailand. Thai Authorities cooperated with both the US and Canada to make the arrest, with the US leading the charge on extradition.

AlphaBay is said to be the largest and most lucrative underground marketplace on the Dark Web, a colloquial slang for the network of sites accessible only through the anonymity-preserving web browser Tor. AlphaBay gained prominence after the Silk Road was closed down in 2013 with its operator Ross Ulbricht currently serving a life sentence.

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

Members of the high-technology crime division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were currently searching Cazes' apartment in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and had claimed at least some of the site's servers, which had opened up the possibility that other AlphaBay operators might be swept up in the investigation.

Speculation is rife after the biggest online drug bazaar was shut down on 5 July, that its administrators had disappeared with a cache of digital currency with them, pulling an "exit scam" like other dark web marketplace kingpins before them.

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