Quebecer eyed in Federal Bureau of Investigation "dark web" probe found dead in Thailand

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Thailand authorities cooperated with both the United States and Canada to make the arrest, with the U.S. leading the charge on extradition.

The establishment of AlphaBay followed the seizure and closure of former underground dark web market Silk Road, something that itself was taken down in late 2013.

The last raid took place in Thailand, where a Canadian national named Alexander Cazes, 26, was arrested at private residences in Bangkok. Members of the high-technology crime division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are now searching Cazes' apartment in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and have claimed at least some of the site's servers, opening the possibility that other AlphaBay operators may be swept up in the investigation pending what the cybercrime unit is able to recover. On Wednesday, he was found dead, hanged in his jail cell. While police confiscated Bt400 million worth of his assets, including four Lamborghini super cars and three properties, his only known background was that he worked as a computer programmer.

AlphaBay was formerly a marketplace on the "dark web", a term for parts of the internet that allow user anonymity and are accessible only through special software.

Cazes had lived well during eight years in Thailand on the lam from drug trafficking charges in the United States.

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Suspicions about the future of AlphaBay started to rise July 4 when the site went offline without any prior notification.

This news contradicts speculation that the website had closed in an "exit scam", a scheme in which operators pocket users' on-site money and disappear (as happened with the cryptomarket Evolution in 2015). The operators allegedly made millions of dollars each year during the site's operation.

Some users on the /r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit blamed the vulnerabilities of AlphaBay for the shutdown of the website. Redditors quickly voiced fear that an exit scam had taken place amid estimates that up to $3.7m in digital currency was tied up in the marketplace and might have been stolen.

Operating AlphaBay was likely a very profitable operation. The largest market on the dark web, AlphaBay was believed to do between $600,000 and $800,000 in transactions per day. The vendor handed over credentials to a secondary account, which law enforcement may have used to access the site. According to a new report, AlphaBay has suffered the same fate and worldwide authorities have shut it down.

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