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Hunt for the Dark Web Mastermind

Garrett Ivey from Central Georgia, was trying to sell a 16-year-old teen age girl. Garrett was arrested this year on the charge on August 14. According to the report, Garrett tried to sell the 16-year-old girl on the dark web market by creating an ad with her name, photo, home address, and even places she frequently visited. So that anyone can kidnap or assault her.

Whether it's shopping online, paying bills, checking bank statements, sharing information, or anything we do or see on the Internet, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. To be honest, today's most popular search engines - Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo - only index a tiny fraction of the Internet. There is a cryptic world underneath the internet as we know it. It is called the dark web. Today Search of Mystery will introduce you to an emperor of that dark world.

On July 5, 2017, Alexander Cages was sitting at his home working on his laptop, just like any other day. Suddenly a car crashed and hit the gate of his house. Hearing the noise, he ran to the front of the house. Cages left his laptop open by mistake. As a consequence, he had to pay a big price for this mistake.

Cages’ life was just like any other ordinary person, but he was not ordinary at all. He was popularly known as Alpha Two on dark web. He earned millions of dollars with his dark market AlphaBay. Law enforcement agencies of 7 countries worked together to catch him. But Cages were nowhere to be found. But in the end, the law and order forces were able to catch this king of the dark web.

Before that let's discuss what the dark web is. There are basically two sides of the internet. One is the surface web and the other is the deep web. Everything we do on the Internet or browse the information we get is from the Surface Web. And everything else is on the deep web.

All confidential information such as important documents of any organization or bank, financial transactions are all in the deep web. Where common people do not have access. And a sub-branch of this deep web is the dark web. Where all the terrible activities of the criminal world are organized secretly.

Although the internet is popular all over the world, people have less of an idea about the dark web. It became popular around 2010. All criminal and nefarious activities can be done here anonymously by keeping your identity hidden. And this is why many people are attracted to it. Besides, financial transactions are done here through Bitcoin. So that the authorities have no control. So if you want, you can sell a lot of illegal products on this dark site and make millions of dollars in business.

The emergence of the dark web led to a cat-and-mouse game around the world. At that time the biggest dark web market was called “Silk Road”. Which was operational till February 2011. Around one hundred thousand people bought drugs from the Silk Road. After two and a half years, the site was shut down when Silk Road's operator was caught.

But the business was so lucrative that even as the Silk Road closed, many other dark markets were born. Within 35 days of the closure of the Silk Road, "Silk Road 2.0" was released. Then another one came- the evolution. It also became very popular but the operator of this marketplace suddenly embezzled all the money and shut down the marketplace. Then comes - Agora... But that too quickly disappeared.

In 2015, after Agora's shutdown, another dark web market suddenly emerged. The founder of this market place is the hero of our story today. Well, should I say hero or culprit? Let us know in the comments below, Let me go back to his story for now.

In July 2014, a man named Alpha Two launched a dark marketplace called AlphaBay. In the beginning, only stolen credit cards were bought and sold.

But soon, drugs, weapons, malware viruses, money laundering and many other illegal activities started here. All kinds of illegal transactions could be done on this site, but the sale of Russian bank account information was prohibited. The reason is clear, AlphaBay did not want to be noticed by the Russian law enforcement agencies.

Alpha Bay's user base continues to grow rapidly. More than two hundred thousands users registered on this site within just one year of its establishment. Starting with sales of over three hundred thousand items, about 2 to 4 percent of each transaction went into Alpha Two's pocket. So, it doesn't take much time for him to become a millionaire.

Investigators became desperate to catch Alpha Two of the dark market. Until 2016, they could not find a single clue. Eventually an anonymous email reached Robert Miller, an investigator working on the AlphaBay case. And they proceed according to its formula. The email was a welcome mail from Alpha Bay. When Alpha Bay first launched, an email was mistakenly sent to all registered customers. Where the metadata contains the true sender address. And someone sent that welcome mail to Miller.

And from there investigators traced that Alpha Two was born in Quebec, Canada. He was only 23 years old when he founded AlphaBay. He worked as a software engineer and his real name was Alexander Kazis. According to his LinkedIn profile, he is a freelance software designer. Investigators found a Thai woman's profile on his Facebook. And from this it can be understood that this Canadian citizen is living in Thailand. And this Thai woman is his wife.

Investigators rush to Bangkok. With the help of Thai authorities, three properties owned by Kajis were identified. One of them is a house in a private community. And there Cazis, Alpha Two, was spending the day comfortably with his wife. Since then, Cazis has been detained.

Cazes was living exactly the way a rich man lives. Waking up early every day, checking social media accounts, then going to work as usual. He spent most of his time at home. Sometimes, however, he would go out with his wife. Seeing such a quiet life of this king of the dark market, one would not think how meticulously he manages such a big criminal world.

However, Alpha two’s time was slowly coming to an end. Authorities were working very safely to catch him. Finally, on July 5, 2017, they came to the street of Kajis' house as planned very carefully. Investigators wanted to get Cazis out of the house immediately and surprise him. So that his devices could be found in unlocked state. And they succeeded.
Due to a small accident staged outside and noise in front of the house, Cazes suddenly came out. And immediately as planned, he was caught by the secret agents. He tried desperately to get back inside, however, to shut down his computer. But that didn't happen anymore. Investigators entered the home and found his laptop. Alpha Two was still logged into the AlphaBay hosting server. Investigators found multiple passwords for AlphaBay websites and servers from the laptop.

Alpha Two's assets worth of 23 million Canadian dollars were eventually traced. Authorities seized his luxury cars, homes, a hotel and millions in cryptocurrency. However, before the verdict given to Cazis, he committed suicide in custody.

Initially, the closure of AlphaBay was not made public. A few days later, the Department of Justice announced the takedown of Dark Web Market - AlphaBay. Alpha Bay, the largest dark market in history, shuts down. But global demand for illegal drugs, weapons, counterfeit money and malware continues. So, despite the death of Cazis, AlphaBay reopened in 2021. What? Cazis was succeeded by a new emperor.

'Alpha Bay' is now run by an unknown person named DeSnake.

Search of Mystery

Search of Mystery

A YouTube channel representing Bangladesh and bringing mysteries behind the stories. We're activists and defenders of the truth.

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