Huge dark web take-down after kingpin found dead
TO THE outside world, Alexandre Cazes was living a dream life.
The 25-year-old Canadian was living in a villa in Thailand running a multi-million dollar business from his laptop. He had a Lamborghini and a Porsche for himself and a Mini Cooper for his wife. He had more money than he knew what to do with and stashed it away in bank accounts in Thailand, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
But the veneer of perfection was obliterated when he was arrested earlier this month and days later was found dead in a Bangkok prison cell.
He was the alleged mastermind of AlphaBay, a huge online marketplace selling illicit items like drugs, guns and fraudulent documents which operated on the dark web.
The website was the largest of its kind on the dark web and was built to house more illegal transactions than the infamous Silk Road online marketplace operated by Ross Ulbricht, who is currently serving two concurrent life sentences in a New York prison sharing showers with El Chapo.
According to authorities, Alexandre Cazes ammased a $29 million fortune through AlphaBay but ultimately he suffered the same fate as the dark web pioneer Ulbricht when US federal agents were able to track his identity via an old hotmail e-mail address and eventually swoop in on his operation.
He is believed to have hanged himself in his cell just over a week ago prior to a scheduled court hearing, Thai police said.