Hanged Canadian inmate had links to ‘Dark Web’, say media reports

Published July 17, 2017 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


national July 15, 2017 01:00


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A CANADIAN inmate who hanged himself in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau headquarters this week was an administrator of the world’s largest “Dark Web” marketplace, according to media reports.

Alexander Cazes, 26, hanged himself with a towel on Wednesday, just an hour before a meeting with the public prosecutor over proceedings for his extradition to the United States in connection with criminal charges there.

Cazes had been detained since July 5 after he was arrested at a residence in Thawee Watthana district by officers acting on an extradition request from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He had reportedly lived in Thailand for seven or eight years and has a Thai wife, according to Thai police. 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.

Numerous reports later claimed that Cazes was either the “admin” for, or otherwise heavily involved in running AlphaBay, a “Dark Web” marketplace used to buy and sell illegal items such as drugs and firearms.

The anonymous marketplace had been dubbed “the new Silk Road”, and was typically only accessible via special software or secret domains. AlphaBay mysteriously went offline around the same time Cazes was arrested, according to Thaivisa.

The site’s closing came after coordinated action by the US, Canada and Thailand, reported the Wall Street Journal. That action included the arrest of Cazes, who allegedly was one of the site’s operators, the report said.

Following its creation in December 2014, AlphaBay emerged as an heir to the Silk Road, the online marketplace closed by federal authorities in October, 2013. Both sites were accessible via Tor, a network that takes steps to preserve the anonymity of its users.

While the Silk Road’s primary focus was drug sales, AlphaBay was more diverse, selling stolen credit-card numbers, drugs, online-fraud tutorials and guns, according to Andrei Barysevich, a director at Recorded Future Inc, which sells data about online threats and the Dark Web.

In the first six months of 2017, AlphaBay sold more than US$5 million in stolen credit-card numbers, Barysevich said. “AlphaBay was the biggest marketplace on the Dark Web,” he said.

Total sales on the site averaged between $600,000 and $800,000 a day, earning AlphaBay’s operators millions of dollars each year in commissions, according to Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies online marketplaces.

The Montreal Gazette reported that the raids were carried out as “part of a larger, international investigation involving the FBI and other agencies” into the sale of illegal goods online. A thread on Reddit claimed Cazes was actually DeSnake one of the admins of AlphaBay.

Speculation online claimed Cazes killed himself to avoid being extradited to the US. It is not known if the raids resulted in the seizure of computers hosting AlphaBay or if Cazes shared any information about the site with authorities prior to his death.


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