The US Justice Department announced on Thursday that AlphaBay, which had been selling illegal drugs, stolen and fraudulent IDs, counterfeit goods, malware, hacking tools, firearms and toxic chemicals, had been put out of operation.
The man who ran AlphaBay, Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen living in Thailand, was arrested by Thai authorities on 5 July. He apparently committed suicide on 12 July.
Public information on AlphaBay prior to its takedown indicated that that were more than 200,000 users and 40,000 vendors using the site.
US attorney-general Jeff Sessions said: "This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year – taking down the largest dark net marketplace in history.
“Make no mistake, the forces of law and justice face a new challenge from the criminals and transnational criminal organisations who think they can commit their crimes with impunity using the dark net.
"The dark net is not a place to hide. The Department will continue to find, arrest, prosecute, convict, and incarcerate criminals, drug traffickers and their enablers wherever they are. We will use every tool we have to stop criminals from exploiting vulnerable people and sending so many Americans to an early grave."