Just days after there were reports that AlphaBay has allegedly been taken down by law enforcement authorities, the US Department of Justice has confirmed that they have indeed taken down the deep web black market and even captured its operator.
Reports of AlphaBay taken down first emerged in the first few days of July when it was a mere speculation that the black market place had been taken down. According to the reports at that time, law enforcement agencies from the U.S., Canada, and Thailand worked in unison to carry out raids on July 5th to bring down the site, causing widespread chaos among Dark Web users.
Reports also indicated that a man was arrested in Thailand. This person was Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen, and was kept in custody inside a cell at the Narcotics Bureau of Bangkok, with a view to being extradited to the U.S. to face criminal charges. However, Cazes reportedly committed suicide in the cell by hanging himself by the neck using a towel.
The US DoJ has now confirmed that they shut down the black market and captured AlphaBay’s operator named Alexandre Cazes. Rob Wainwright, the Executive Director of Europol said:
“This is an outstanding success by authorities in Europe and the US. The capability of drug traffickers and other serious criminals around the world has taken a serious hit today after a highly sophisticated joint action in multiple countries.”
Before its take down, AlphaBay took the place of erstwhile Silk Road and became the biggest drug market place and bazaar on the dark web. It hosted more than 40,000 vendors of drugs which transacted to some 200,000 clients. Apart from drugs like fentanyl and heroin, AlphaBay was also used to trade in weapons and malware according to the law enforcers along with a series of Bitcoin-related heists.
Considering that cryptocurrencies [Bitcoin, Ethereum, others] are the only mechanism of transacting on the dark web, the shuttering of AlphaBay will have a knock on effect on the prices of cryptocurrencies to a certain extent.