The U.S government, through the justice department, announced on Thursday that a dark net website named AlphaBay had been shut down. According to the justice department, AlphaBay has been operating for more than two years. Items that were sold on the site included counterfeit goods, malware and other computer hacking tools, deadly Illegal Drugs, fraudulent and stolen Identification Documents, toxic chemicals, and firearms. International agencies in Thailand, Netherlands, Canada, Lithuania, United Kingdom, France, as well as Europe helped in identifying and seizing AlphaBay's technological infrastructure.

Arrest and investigations

AlphaBay administrator Alexandre Cazes aka 'Alpha02' and 'Admin' was arrested in Thailand by Thailand authorities on July 5 this month under the direction of U.S investigators. His indictment was raised by a court in the Eastern District of California a month before his arrest. Cazes later committed suicide on July 12th, while in custody in Thailand. He was 25 years old and a citizen of Canada during the time of his arrest. The charges that were brought against him were racketeering, distribution of narcotics, identity theft, unlawful transfer of false identification documents, access device fraud, trafficking in device making equipment, and money laundering.

Law enforcers also froze millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies, which were part of AlphaBay's illegal proceeds. According to investigators, Cazes was managing AlphaBay with his wife. Investigators have managed to trace and freeze the assets owned by the two hidden in Thailand, Lichtenstein, Cyprus and Antigua & Barbuda.

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Cazes and his wife also owned assets such as luxury vehicles, residences and a hotel in Thailand.


AlphaBay was launched on December 22nd, 2014. According to an AlphaBay staff member, before the website was shut down, it served over 200,000 users and had over 40,000 vendors. There were over 250,000 listings of illegal drugs and toxic chemicals and over 100,000 listings of fraudulent and stolen identification documents and access devices when it was shut down.

The site operated as a masked service on the “Tor” network. Payment for goods and services were made using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Monero, and Ethereum. Investigators also believe that many vendors sold illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. Some sales of these drugs are believed to be responsible for multiple deaths as a result of overdosing.