A 26 year-old Canadian believed to be behind dark web marketplace AlphaBay was found dead in a prison cell in Bangkok, announced AFP. Evidence suggests he hung himself with a towel in a suicide, according to local police.
Alexandre Cazes, known online as DeSnake, was arrested in Bangkok on July 5 and was awaiting extradition to the US for drug trafficking and money laundering. He was investigated by the FBI and was arrested after AlphaBay was taken down that same day.
Initially from Quebec, for the past eight years Cazes had been living a luxurious life in Thailand, owning property worth approximately $11 million, including three houses, a Lamborghini and three other cars. When arrested, he was married to a Thai citizen who was also accused of money laundering.
“He was a computer expert involved with international transactions of bitcoins,” said Major General Soontorn Chalermkiat, spokesperson for Thailand’s Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
“He didn’t have any business in Thailand but he had many houses.”
The dark web marketplace was taken down as a result of collaboration between law enforcement in the US, Canada and Thailand.
Officially launched in 2014, AlphaBay was larger and more profitable than the Silk Road, experts say. IT became popular after the Silk Road was shut down and its founder was sentenced to life in prison. The marketplace sold a variety of illegal merchandise, weapons, credit cards, fake IDs and drugs, among others. It registered daily transactions of up to $800,000.