Suspected dark web co-founder found dead in cell

Alexandre Cazes, believed to be behind dark net marketplace AlphaBay, has been found dead in a Bangkok jail cell.

The suspected co-founder of AlphaBay, one of the largest dark web marketplaces, was found unresponsive at Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau.

He was due to meet prosecutors pushing to extradite him to the United States just an hour before they found his body.

Police say that evidence points to Mr Cazes taking his own life, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Surveillance camera footage of the cell indicated no signs of physical assault, Police Major General Surasak Khunnarong said.

His father Martin Cazes said it was difficult to believe that his son would take his own life.

"For my father's heart it's hard to accept that my son committed suicide... under police surveillance, it's incredible," he told Canadian website Canoe.

Mr Cazes senior said he was awaiting the autopsy results and hopes he will find out the truth behind his son's death.

The US Embassy in Bangkok stated that Mr Cazes was detained at the request of the US "with a view toward extradition to face federal criminal charges."

Thai police arrested Mr Cazes, also known by the pseudonym DeSnake, on 5 July on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Authorities seized several million dollars, three properties and four Lambourghinis owned by Mr Cazes, according to Deutsch Welle.

Mr Cazes was under investigation by local authorities.

"He was a computer expert involved with international transactions of bitcoins," Major General Soontorn Chalermkiat, a spokesman for Thailand's Narcotics Suppression Bureau, told AFP.

"He didn't have any business in Thailand but he had many houses," the officer said.

The properties were worth around 400 million baht (£9m) according to the Bangkok Times.

The Canadian's wife, a Thai national, is believed to be pregnant. She has subsequently been arrested on charges of money-laundering.

Originally from Quebec, Mr Cazes was at the centre of an FBI investigation, accused of being an administrator and co-founder of AlphaBay.

The website sold illegal goods, class A drugs, pornography, stolen credit cards and weapons.

The website, which was shut down on 5 July, had up to $800,000 of transactions every day, according to researchers.


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