The UK accused and charged five Bulgarian nationals of Russian espionage. The suspects were implicated in spying for Russia for three years between August 2020 and February 2023.
Busted for Russian Espionage
According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), three men and two women are liable for devising to gather information directly or indirectly beneficial to an enemy that threatens the state’s interest and safety.
The suspected spies were Ivan Stoyanov, Katrin Ivanova, Orlin Roussev, Vanya Gaberova, and Bizer Dzhambazov. All are Bulgarian nationals and lived in London and Norfolk. On Tuesday, Sept. 26, they will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to face their charges.
Dzhambazov, Ivanova, and Roussev were already charged in February over possession of false identity papers along with erroneous intentions. In July, they appeared at London’s Old Bailey court to face the said charges. It was followed by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command’s investigation.
Prosecutors said it’s highly significant not to report, comment, or share information online to conduct a fair trial. Moreover, it could undermine the proceedings.
Award-Winning Beautician Involved in Spying
Vanya Gaberova was one of the five Bulgarian nationals accused of spying for Russia. She’s a renowned beautician from Bulgaria and runs her company from Acton located in West London. Likewise, she’s a lash extensions specialist and an accredited eyelash educator, winning several prizes in the UK, Bulgaria, and Russia.
“The CPS has authorised a charge of conspiracy to conduct espionage against three men and two women suspected of spying for Russia,” said Nick Price, head of the Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division.
In February, the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command arrested the alleged spies under the Official Secrets Act.
Professions of the Suspected Spies
Roussev claimed in his LinkedIn profile that he was an adviser to the Bulgarian energy minister. When he moved to the UK in 2009, he worked as a chief technical officer at a financial services firm for three years. Afterwards, he listed himself as a company owner involved in AI and advanced communications systems for 10 years.
Couple Ivanova and Dzhambazov ‘kept a low profile’ and were known as Max and Kate, according to their neighbours. Surprisingly, they even lived next door to a police officer. Dzhambazov used to work as a hospital driver.
Ivanova, on the other hand, worked as a private healthcare firm laboratory assistant based on her LinkedIn profile. It was also stated on the platform that she’s been in the UK since 2013.
Chief Price said that ‘hostile state threats’ constitute accumulating proportions of their work. Russia has been a specific focus since the assayed murder of Sergei Skripal in 2018.