The US District Court of Eastern California has recently been very busy, dealing with the cases that involve the infamous and now defunct darknet marketplace: the Alphabay. Ever since its demise, the investigation that followed after has been on everyone’s lips. Operation Bayonet, the multinational law enforcement operation, culminated with taking down, both Hansa and Alphabay darknet markets. A Canadian national living in Thailand, by name Alexandre Cazes, was targeted by the police when the Alphabay went down. He was accused of being the leader of the Alphabay. Since some of the crimes were committed on US soil, American prosecutors, like usual, wanted his him to be extradited to the states. Cazes committed suicide in a Thai jail shortly after he was arrested in his home.
All of Alexandre Cazes’ property and digital assets, along with cryptocurrencies held on Alphabay servers were confiscated by the US.
The case was wrapped up some weeks ago, after which, the US District Court of Eastern California’s Fresno courthouse was allowed to seize his luxury cars and millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. US law enforcement confiscated more than $8 million worth of cryptocurrency when Cazes was arrested. He had diverse digital assets that include BTC, XMR, ETH, and ZEC. Authorities seized alongside, six of his breakfront homes across various islands around the world. International police also seized Cazes’ BMW motorcycle, Lamborghini and Porsche during the burst. Everything put together added up to about $12 million.
“Approximately 1,605.0503851 BTC was seized from Alexandre Cazes and moved to a US government-controlled address.
8,309.271639 ETH was seized from Alexandre Cazes and moved to a US government-controlled address.
3,691.98 ZEC was seized from Alexandre Cazes and moved to a US government-controlled address.
An unknown number of XMR was seized from Alexandre Cazes and moved to a US government-controlled address.
293.79476862 BTC was moved from the Alphabay server 3203 into a US government-controlled address.
43.05943697 BTC was moved from the Alphabay server 3164 into a US government-controlled address.
360.384477 ETH was moved from the Alphabay server 8131 into a US government-controlled Ether address.
11,993.15882 XMR was moved from the Alphabay server 10073 into a US government-controlled address.”
What is striking in this case is the power that the US and the District Court of Eastern California have over these darknet cases. Cazes was not a US citizen, neither was he caught on the US soil. The Alphabay servers were not on US soil. However, the US apparently has the right above anyone to seize Cazes’ property, and charge him and partners in US trials, simply because crimes involving narcotic deals took place on their territory. Cazes was accused of several charges by the US authorities, among others, money laundering, drug trafficking, conspiracy, and many more. Many other Alphabay vendors are being charged for diverse criminal charges.