Update: I edited the post as there has been number of incorrectly reported information (such as having 4 Lamborghini – didn’t make sense) until US Justice released official documentation.
Today after I woke up I saw news about a young Canadian guy Alexandre Cazes who committed suicide while detained in custody in Bangkok.
Tired after a long flight I haven’t realised that I actually knew the guy. Not personally though, from a Bangkok group chat on Line where guys discuss parties, tips on living in Bangkok, travel and girls.
After somebody pointed that this is Fish (his nickname on the Line group chat) I spent quite a few hours reading about it. It’s not like I would get even remotely in touch with someone figuring in such a fascinating (in a scary way) story.
I chat with him multiple times about learning Thai language – he was fluent in speaking and writing after less than a year of studies. He was a nice and helpful person – instead of a short answer he would always find time to give long, detail advice to help you out.
He got seriously rich in the past couple of years. Moving from a motorbike to a Porsche Panamera and later Lamborghini Aventador, from an old house to a villa. His explanation was early investing / trading Bitcoin – not that hard to believe.
At first I thought it may be just a coincidence, until I found this article with a photo that matches his Line’s profile picture with one of his Lamborghini.
There is a lot of speculation, some say he was known as DeSnake who was behind Alphabay – the largest marketplace on DarkNet similar to eBay. Except selling everything from drugs, weapons to stolen credit card information. It had over 400,000 users.
The main reason why people connect him is that he was arrested in Bangkok on July 5. Alphabay + his company’s website, which he mention on his Linkedin profile, went offline July 4. (still accessible via Web Archive with the business address matching the address of police ride in Canada).
This could be due the time difference, or previous raid in his office/warehouse in Canada. Not to mention earning
$12+ $23+ million in couple of years at 26 years of age even with the massive price growth of Bitcoin wouldn’t be an easy task.
As confirmed by the US Justice he was actually Alpha02 – the full owner of Alphabay.
The police so far found four Lamborghini cars registered in his name, and documents for three houses worth together approx 400 million baht = $11.8 million dollars.
The officials seized above mentioned cars, a motorbike and also a Mini Cooper (for his wife, I assume). Additionally nine bank accounts in Thailand, one in Lichtenstein, one in Panama, one in Switzerland, Three houses in Bangkok, a villa in Phuket, a villa in Cyprus and a condo in Antigua and Barbuda. Additionally crypto currencies: $5m in Bitcoin, $2m in Ethereum, $700k in Zcash and $400k in Monero.
As reported he had all his passwords and a spreadsheet listing all assets (totalling $23 million) on his un-encrypted laptop.
AlphaBay was estimated to do between $600,000 – $800,000 of transactions each day. Considering the 3.5% commission on the website this equal to $21,000 – $28,000 daily revenue.
According to the US Justice they were able to find him due using his personal email address when he started an online forum for Alphabay. He was also using the same alias on other websites where he disclosed his name. There were probably dozens of highly skilled people looking for these traces.
I wonder whether he would do it again, knowing the outcome. Two years of super luxury ending his life.
I may never be able to earn $x million, but I feel really grateful that my life lead me to internet marketing and not installing Tor browser on my laptop.
There are many people who started legitimate business online without any prior experience and were able to build it even to $50,000+ a month income. Just as a solopreneur, or with a tiny team of two or three. Sure it isn’t easy, most people end with an average income, but still way better than jail (or worse).
Cryptocurrencies created a brand new markets with insane opportunities. But for every legit millionaire there will be countless of lives destroyed as people lose everything in various scams, bad investments or end in jail.