The AlphaBay portal had more than 40,000 vendors offering drugs, weapons, malicious software and personal data
The United States, in a joint police operation coordinated with Europol, announces the dismantling of AlphaBay, considered the largest platform dedicated to the sale of illicit substances, weapons and personal data. Also closed Hansa Market, another portal that operates in the black market. Police authorities anticipate that this action will allow the start of hundreds of criminal investigations.
The portal stopped working at the beginning of this month of July. It was the first indication that it could have been the subject of a large-scale police operation. The investigation was led by the FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police, in coordination with Europol. Also participating were agents from the United Kingdom, France and other European countries.
The portal has been operating for two years. In addition to drugs, more than 100,000 items or services could be found such as malicious software, tools for access to private computer data, false documentation and contraband products. Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian resident in Thailand, is considered as the founder of the network, was arrested on July 5.
Cazes committed suicide a week later while in custody. The East District Attorney’s Office of California had ordered his arrest under various conspiracy charges for the distribution of narcotics and criminal offenses such as identity theft, fraud and money laundering. The United States, in coordination with other international authorities, proceeded at the time of its arrest to freeze its financial assets.
The Justice Department explains that Caze had properties in Thailand, Cyprus, Lichtenstein and in the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, such as luxury vehicles, mansions and even its own hotel. In addition it had millions of dollars in virtual currencies, the currency that is used to pay the exchanges in this type of illicit platforms. “You can not hide in the darkness of the net,” concluded Sessions.