Monday, 24 July 2017

7/24/2017 02:00:00 pm
Details and photographs of the extravagant lifestyle and police operation to arrest the Canadian man who hanged himself in drugs suppression police custody, have emerged.

Alexandre Cazes, from Canada, 

was found dead on July 12th.

He was married to a Thai woman who helped him in his criminal activities though no word of her fate was mentioned in the Thai Rath story.

However, police said they would reveal more information about the case on Monday.

Police have seized assets worth 700 million baht. He had 46 million baht in Thai bank accounts and was frequently sending packages abroad with the help of his wife.

They had just bought a 20 million baht home in Cyprus.

They had fancy homes in Bangkok and Phuket with many top of the range cars and other possessions.

Police said they lived an extravagant lifestyle while selling heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and other items on AlphaBay – a site on the so-called “Dark Web” with 250,000 users trading drugs, weapons and other illegal items using Bitcoin.

Some 255 million baht’s worth of the Bitcoin digital currency has been seized as part of the operation.

Throughout surveillance of the suspect the Thai drugs police were in close contact with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency in the USA.

The Thai authorities were also in contact over an investigation period of four months with police forces in Canada, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Lithuania.

Alexandre Cazes: Who was the AlphaBay 

founder and how did authorities catch him?

Canadian Alexandre Cazes was a young IT whiz who said he specialised in everything from web development to encryption services.

The 25-year-old suspected founder of dark net marketplace AlphaBay was arrested earlier this month on behalf of the United States in Thailand, and apparently took his life a week later while in Thai custody, the Justice Department said.

He faced charges relating to narcotics distribution, identity theft, money laundering and related crimes.

While still a teenager, Cazes was believed to have started his first company, EBX Technologies, selling computers and helping small businesses set up their websites.

His IT nous was clear to see; authorities say they have traced him to as far back as 2008, posting advice on a tech forum on how to remove a virus from a digital photo.

Cazes grew up near Montreal and his family said he was a genius.

"An extraordinary young man, with no history, no judicial record," his father Martin Cazes told Canadian news portal Canoe.

"He never smoked a cigarette, never used drugs."

But Cazes was soon to put his IT skills to a sinister use.

According to US prosecutors, EBX Technologies was a front company to, "justify his banking activity and substantial cryptocurrency holdings".

Cazes, 25, moved to Thailand about seven or eight years ago and in September 2014 is alleged to have founded AlphaBay, which was soon to become the world's biggest dark net market.

Until its seizure by US and European authorities, AlphaBay was 10 times bigger than the infamous Silk Road and traded in everything from drugs and chemicals to weapons and fake IDs.
Living the high-life in Thailand

This villa in Phuket, Thailand is one of many properties said to have been owned by Alexandre Cazes.

Known to some as the DeSnake, Cazes was married to a Thai woman, who is believed to be pregnant.

He was living the high-life in Thailand, driving around in $1 million Lamborghini, among other luxury cars, and owning multiple properties.

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

"He didn't have any business in Thailand but 

he had many houses."

He also had assets in Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Antigua and Barbuda and Switzerland.

According to court documents, AlphaBay's annual sales were in the hundreds of millions of dollars and Cazes was making his money from commissions.

Earlier this month, authorities began closing in on Cazes and he was arrested in Bangkok on July 5 by Thai police.

At the time of his arrest, Thai police found his laptop open and logged into the server that hosted the AlphaBay website.

US and European authorities joined forces to take down AlphaBay. (Supplied: US Justice Department)

During the search of his laptop, a document was discovered titled Total Net Worth, listing his assets under categories including cash and cryptocurrencies.

By his own assessment, his net worth totalled $US23,033,975.
Brought undone by own mistake

It appears Cazes was ultimately brought undone by his own mistake when left his personal email address visible online.

During investigations, authorities found in the header of emails sent to users of AlphaBay who had forgotten their passwords.

They were able to eventually trace that address to their man, Alexandre Cazes.

Cazes was being held in a cell at Bangkok's Narcotics Suppression Bureau and, just hours before he was due to meet prosecutors for talks over his extradition to the US, was found dead.

He was said to have committed suicide.

AlphaBay allowed users to trade in everything from drugs to fake IDs.

Source: ABC

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