By: Savannah Smith | 07-20-2017 | News
Photo credit: Igor Stevanovic | Dreamstime

DOJ Shuts Down AlphaBay, Other Parts of Dark Web

||| Igor Stevanovic | Dreamstime |||

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that the world’s biggest drug marketplace on the dark web, AlphaBay, has been shut down.

AlphaBay has given hundreds of thousands of people a venue to buy illegal drugs. It mysteriously went offline earlier this month. It is regarded as the biggest online black market for drugs, hosting daily transactions pegged to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Law enforcement officials said that when it was still active online, AlphaBay sold drugs to more than 40,000 vendors that supplies more than 200,000 clients. Dealers were able to purchase online drugs like fentanyl and heroin by utilizing a technology named Tor, which allows people to browse anonymously. It was also originally created to avoid surveillance.

The said site was also being used to trade in weapons and malware. It has been called the new Silk Road- the website that used to be the center for drug, arms and other illegal trafficking before it was shut down.

Before the site was forced to close, police and other law enforcement officials seem to have been running the site. They will have access then to the details of many of the people who are using it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal officials announced an indictment in California on Thursday of a suspected administrator of the site. The Justice Department also filed a forfeiture complaint to seize the assets of the operation.

Sessions also shared that law enforcement was working with their colleagues in the Netherlands who had also taken down another dark web marketplace, Hansa Market.

Europol Executive Director Rob Wainwright also expressed satisfaction for the latest development on dark web. He said: “This is an outstanding success by authorities in Europe and the U.S. 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.

The Goldwater also earlier reported that the Canadian co-founder of AlphaBay, Alexander Cazes was found hanged in a jail cell in Bangkok, Thailand last week. He was set to attend a deportation hearing before his death. U.S. officials have requested for Cazes’ deportation.

The Goldwater also found out that prior to his death, there were threats against him and other administrators of AlphaBay from anonymous people who claimed they have been duped of their bitcoins by Cazes and AlphaBay. The furious users regarded Cazes as a large bitcoin scammer.

The link between online threats against Cazes and his death- whom Thailand officials ruled as suicide-has yet to be officially established, however.

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