Some users on Reddit suspected an "exit scam", in which AlphaBay's founders had shuttered the site and absconded with piles of bitcoins. According to the Wall Street Journal, an global police action took place in the United States, Thailand and Canada. Alternative explanations can including anything from DDoS attacks from competitors, law enforcement actions to unannounced site maintenance. Members of the high-technology crime division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are now searching Cazes' apartment in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and have claimed at least some of the site's servers, opening the possibility that other AlphaBay operators may be swept up in the investigation pending what the cybercrime unit is able to recover. According to the Wall Street Journal, it wasn't immediately clear whether the defendant had legal representation. The Bangkok Post confirms that the 26-year-old Cazes was awaiting extradition to the United States when a guard found him hanged in his cell.
The Bangkok Post reported that Cazes had been resident in Thailand for about eight years and had a Thai wife. To evade extradition to the United States, Cazes hanged himself on Wednesday in his prison cell. The towel was his personal belonging and he was believed to have used it to hang himself.
A representatives for Canada's foreign affairs department confirmed Cazes "passed away in Thailand" but declined to comment further, according to the report. He had been detained in Bangokok since July 5 at the request of USA authorities. While police confiscated Bt400 million worth of his assets, including four Lamborghini super cars and three properties, his only known background was that he worked as a computer programmer.
AlphaBay emerged in 2014, following the death of Silk Road. Police believe the marketplace's total daily sales were between $600,000 - $800,000 at its height.
The site believed to have been created in 2014 and dubbed the "new Silk Road" was estimated to have had listings of nearly 300,000 items of contraband that brought revenue of between $US600,000 ($766,000) and $US800,000 a day, earning its operators millions of dollars in commissions each year.
The first sign that AlphaBay may have been the target of law enforcement came shortly before the sudden down time, when a prominent AlphaBay vendor was arrested and willingly handed over his account to law enforcement.