After AlphaBay's Demise, Customers Flocked to Dark Market Run by Dutch Police

21 Июля, 2017, 00:15 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Justice Department announces takedown of AlphaBay, the largest dark web market

The site, known as AlphaBay, reportedly had 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors, hundreds of which advertised fentanyl or heroin, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this morning that the Justice Department, in coordination with law enforcement agencies around the globe, was responsible for shutting down the cryptomarket AlphaBay on July 4 as part of Operation Bayonet. "You can not hide. We will find you, dismantle your organization and network and we will prosecute you".

AlphaBay, which reportedly listed almost 300,000 items for sale at the time of its disappearance, went down on 3 July.

At the time of its takedown AlphaBay, which had been in operation for over two years, had more than 250,000 listings for illegal drugs and toxic chemicals, and more than 100,000 listings for stolen and fraudulent identification documents, hacking tools and firearms, according to Europol.

"The Dutch National Police have located Hansa Market and taken over control of this marketplace since June 20, 2017", the message says.

As reported last week, AlphaBay's alleged founder lexandre Cazes has been taken into custody in Thailand.

Authorities did not say if any other AlphaBay deputies had been arrested or prosecuted, however, one vendor, David Ryan Burchard, is set to go to trial next year in Fresno, California.

Yakir Bechler, chief operating officer of Kela, says it's not clear what the future holds for the surviving black-market sites.

An global police investigation into the trade of illicit items on the dark web has culminated in two of the biggest dark web marketplaces - AlphaBay and Hansa - being shut down.

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Marketplaces on the dark web are not accessible through a typical web browser.

Mr Sessions cautioned criminals from thinking that they could evade prosecution by using the dark web: "You cannot hide", he said, "We will find you".

Elsewhere an Federal Bureau of Investigation and DEA-led operation called Bayonet, identified a suspect whom they believed could be the creator and administrator of AlphaBay, a Canadian citizen resident in Thailand.

AlphaWeb operated much like any legitimate e-commerce site, including having a public relations manager, security administrator and "scam watchers", according to court documents.

The complaint also states that at the time of his July 5 arrest by the Royal Thai Police, Cazes' laptop was found open and unencrypted, logged in as "Admin."

The so-called "dark web" is a corner of the internet that can only be accessed by specialist software, helping to cast a shadow over users' details and transactions.

The Justice Department is also pursuing a forfeiture case against Cazes' assets, including a 2013 Lamborghini Aventador registered in Bangkok and six properties Cazes and his wife allegedly owned from Thailand to Cyprus, according to a press release.

McCabe noted that other dark marketplaces would likely fill the void created by the law enforcement crackdown but warned criminals that the DOJ and its partners would never relent.

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