The US District Court of Eastern California has been hearing cases that involve Alphabay, the now-defunct darknet marketplace. In fact, a Fresno courthouse just finished dealing with a forfeiture case that involves Alexandre Cazes, the alleged Alphabay leader.
US Officials Seize Digital Assets of Alphabay Leader
Officials initiated Operation Bayonet to take down both Hansa and Alphabay darknet markets. When the Alphabay marketplace went offline, the police sought Cazes, a Canadian national living in Thailand.
He was reportedly in charge of the marketplace and committed several of his crimes in the US. The American authorities wants Thailand to deport him to the US. However, he killed himself in a Thai jail after he was arrested by the authorities.
Millions Worth of Cryptos Confiscated
The authorities confiscated all of Cazes’s digital assets and property along with the cryptocurrencies. Alphabay servers hosted the latter.
When the leader was arrested, the authorities confiscated cryptocurrencies worth over $8 million dollars. Cazes was in possession of BTC, ETH, XMR, and ZEC.
In addition, the authorities seized six of Cazes’s beachfront homes built on islands across the globe. The property collectively added up to nearly $12 million.
Furthermore, the authorities confiscated nearly 1,605.0503851 BTC from Alexandre Cazes and moved them to an address controlled by the US government. In addition, they seized 8,309.271639 ETH as well, along with 3,691.98 ZEC and an unknown number of XMR from Alphabay.
The Alphabay case demonstrates how much power the District Court of Eastern California and the US have over the darknet cases. The accused was not a US citizen and the US did not arrest Cazes either. However, the crimes associated with narcotic deals took place in the US.
Many have questioned the confiscation of assets on foreign soil. The current scenario shows the deep involvement of the law enforcement agencies and the FBI in Operation Bayonet.
Furthermore, US law allows Federal authorities the right to seize money and property on international soil. The authorities can also sell these assets even before a trial and conviction.
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