According to various reports the largest online marketplace located on the deep web, Alphabay, was seized by International law enforcement.
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The Biggest Darknet Market on the Deep Web Has Been Shut Down By International Authorities
On July 11 Bitcoin.com reported on the Alphabay darknet marketplace going offline for over a week. In that report, we detailed a theory of a global “deep web” law enforcement task force that seized computers in Quebec and made a connected arrest in Thailand. On July 13 according to the Wall Street Journal and sources familiar with the international authorities — Alphabay has been shut down.
Founded in 2014 the marketplace Alphabay was a successor of the Silk Road and grew to be even bigger by 2017. Alphabay, like many darknet markets, was known for selling illicit narcotics and fraudulent credit cards. Wall Street Journal reporter Robert McMillan details the investigation was conducted by law enforcement agencies from a few countries including Thailand, the U.S., and Canada.
Canadian Police Search a Residence in Quebec While Bangkok Authorities Make a Related Arrest in Thailand
The international deep web task force arrested Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen associated with the Alphabay marketplace on July 5 in Thailand. Interestingly the arrest was made the same day the Alphabay market went offline. Cazes was expected to be extradited to the U.S., an embassy employee from Bangkok told the press. Further, the investigation also took place in Canada as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) searched a home in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. However, Cazes took his life and was found hanging in his Thai cell on July 13.
According to Andrei Barysevich, a director of a company that sells data on deep web activities, Alphabay was far more diversified in sales than the Silk Road. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University revealed that the Alphabay marketplace took in roughly US$600,000-800,000 in cryptocurrency revenue per day. Besides narcotics Barysevich said the market catered to credit card hackers and included fraud tutorials. Barysevich says over the past six months alone, Alphabay has sold “$5 million in stolen credit-card numbers.”
Alphabay was the biggest marketplace on the Dark Web
Law Enforcement Seizes Four Lamborghinis and Three Homes While Alphabay Joins the Graveyard of Darknet Markets
Alphabay will go down in history with the rest of the fallen darknet markets. At the moment there is no information provided on others involved with the daily operations of the Alphabay market or what Cazes actually did for the website. Reports from The Bangkok Post detail that authorities seized three Thai homes that belonged to Cazes worth 400 million baht (11.7M USD). Additionally Thai police claim they confiscated four Lamborghinis and said Cazes has been residing in Thailand for over eight years.
International law enforcement officials have arrested members from multiple markets over the past few years from websites like the original Silk Road, Nucleus, Agora, Sheep, Evolution, Hydra and many more. The difference between all of these markets is that Alphabay grew to be significantly larger in size and catered to a lot more people. The aftermath of the Alphabay takedown will surely be felt for quite some time by customers and vendors of the underground marketplace.
What do you think about the Alphabay marketplace takedown? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, the Alphabay Logo, and Pixabay.
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