Famous dark web market AlphaBay has been shut down by the US government.
The US Department of Justice on Thursday confirmed that they have shut down the black market and captured AlphaBay’s operator. It was in early July through a combined operation by the US and European authorities that the founder and operator of AlphaBay, Alexandre Cazes, was arrested causing AlphaBay to shut down.
Rob Wainwright, the Executive Director of Europol said:
"This is an outstanding success by authorities in Europe and the US. The capability of drug traffickers and other serious criminals around the world has taken a serious hit today after a highly sophisticated joint action in multiple countries.”
Suspect committed suicide
The 25-year old Canadian Alexandre Cazes known as the founder of the dark website AlphaBay was arrested in Bangkok Thailand. However, shortly after he was arrested, Cazes committed suicide inside his jail cell. He was found dead hanging in a towel on the ceiling of his cell.
Biggest drug marketplace
Before it was taken down, AlphaBay was known as the biggest drug market place and bazaar on the dark web. It hosted more than 40,000 vendors of drugs which transacted to some 200,000 clients.
Apart from drugs like fentanyl and heroin, AlphaBay was also used to trade in weapons and malware according to the law enforcers along with a series of Bitcoin-related heists.
Aside from AlphaBay, another dark web market was also taken down by the authorities. Hansa Market was taken over by the authorities last June wherein two men were arrested and accused of operating the dark web marketplace.
Before AlphaBay and Hansa, there was Silk Road.
Silk Road was the first modern dark web marketplace selling illegal drugs. It was launched in February 2011 but was shut down by the authorities in October 2013 following the arrest of its founder Ross Ulbricht.
Effect on cryptocurrencies
Since virtual currencies are used to transact in dark web marketplace, shutting down of AlphaBay and Hansa may have effects of virtual currencies.
Several months ago, AlphaBay was supposed to list ZEC in July. However, with AlphaBay now shut down, the digital currency wasn’t able to have a proper kickstart.