Cazes was recently detained in connection with an worldwide probe involving AlphaBay, an underground website where vendors sold illegal goods ranging from hardcore drugs to stolen credit card numbers, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing individuals familiar with the matter.
Citing "people familiar with the matter", the Journal claims that the site was shuttered and one of its operators, Alexandre Cazes, was taken into custody in Bangkok on July 5.
Cazes was wanted by USA authorities.
When Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was arrested, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized bitcoins that were worth about $US33.6 million at the time. 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. USA officials requested his extradition.
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Described by local press as having lived in Thailand for 8 years and being married to a Thai woman, Cazes is subsequently alleged to have committed suicide in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau building in Laksi district, Bangkok on June 12. He had reportedly conducted 1,684 sales on AlphaBay that grossed more than $1 million. Unconfirmed rumors started on Reddit and smaller blogs claimed that Cazes was the AlphaBay admin known as DeSnake. Other Dark Web marketplaces are now dealing with the sudden influx of new users, with some temporarily disabling registrations and referring to the eager online drug buyers as AlphaBay "refugees". Users flocked to AlphaBay and other markets at the time, giving the site a huge boost right from the get-go.
Some users on the /r/DarkNetMarkets subreddit blamed the vulnerabilities of AlphaBay for the shutdown of the website. According to DeepDotWeb, a site that monitors the Dark Web, the top three most popular Dark Web markets after AlphaBay's demise are RAMP (Russian-speaking), Dream Market, and Hansa Market.
Avi Kasztan, chief exec of Sixgill, predicted that "Dream Market" is likely to become the next major player on the dark web.
For a long period of time, most AlphaBay users speculated that the market's admins pulled off an "exit scam", a term used to describe when a Dark Web market shuts down and the owners steal all the cryptocurrency from escrow wallets.