The Royal Thai Police have seized assets worth nearly US$21 million (725 million baht) belonging to the late founder of the darknet marketplace AlphaBay, who died in a Bangkok jail earlier this month.
25-year-old Canadian citizen Alexandre Cazes was arrested in Thailand on July 5 at the request of the United States.
Police confirmed that Cazes was the administrator of AlphaBay, an online marketplace for illegal goods ranging from computer hacking tools to drugs and weapons. The site was widely regarded as the largest online black market for drugs, with daily transactions estimated to total hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to Pol Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakan, the deputy national police chief, Cazes was found dead in his cell at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau in Bangkok on July 12, prior to his scheduled extradition to the United States.
Pol Gen Chalermkiat said Cazes was facing charges for drug distribution, identity theft, money laundering and other offenses at the time of his death.
Some members of the online community referred to Cazes as “DeSnake” and the media reported that he operated primarily from Thailand, where he owned multiple properties and had international connections. His arrest was the result of a police operation known as Bayonet that involved authorities from six nations including the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dutch National Police and Royal Thai Police.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last week that AlphaBay was the largest dark web marketplace in history.