Court orders seizure of late darknet baron Cazes’ assets in Thailand
Bangkok’s Talingchan district court has ordered the seizure of 413 million baht worth of assets owned by the late founder of the darknet AlphaBay website, a public prosecutor said on Monday.
Jumpol Phansamrit, foreign affairs director of the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), said the court accepted the public prosecutors’ request and ordered the seizure of assets owned by late Canadian national Alexandre Cazes.
Cazes was only 25 when he committed suicide in a Thai prison in 2017.
Jumpol said the OAG foreign affairs department has yet to speak to US authorities on how funds collected from the sale of Cazes’ properties can be shared. The assets include a Lamborghini car worth 45 million baht, a Porsche worth 10 million baht, three houses valued at 308 million baht and eight bank accounts carrying 46 million baht.
Jumpol said the Thai authorities had earlier seized 911 Bitcoins from Cazes and handed them over to US authorities, but his department will ask the US to return the Bitcoins so they can be auctioned off with the remaining assets.
Cazes’ case came to light when the US authorities informed their Thai counterparts about an arrest warrant issued for him by a California court on 16 charges.
According to the charges, Cazes allegedly used his website to sell drugs, and weapons and launder money, and allegedly took payments in Bitcoins.
Cazes and his wife Sunisa Thapsuwan were arrested on July 5, 2017, and while the extradition process was ongoing, he killed himself on July 12.
Jumpol said the US authorities had asked the OAG to coordinate the seizure of Cazes’ assets in Thailand in May 2019, but the Thai court only ordered the seizure on April 27 this year.
In the next process, the OAG will auction off the assets, including the 911 Bitcoins, and discuss with the US how the money should be shared, Jumpol added.