Five Bulgarians charged in UK with spying for Russia

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Five Bulgarians suspected of spying for Russia will be charged with conspiracy to conduct espionage, prosecutors say.

Three of the members of the spy ring, who have lived in the UK for years, had been charged in February with possessing fake documents, said to include passports for a number of countries, “with improper intention”.

Orlin Roussev, Bizer Dzhambazov and Katrin Ivanova were arrested in Britain as part of an Official Secrets Act investigation.

The documents they had allegedly included passports and identity cards for countries including the UK, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and the Czech Republic.

The trio were remanded in custody after being charged in February, then appeared at London’s Old Bailey on 31 July and were again remanded in custody.

All three suspects have reportedly lived in the UK for years, working in various jobs and occupying suburban properties.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: “The CPS has authorised a charge of conspiracy to conduct espionage against three men and two women suspected of spying for Russia.

“Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, will be charged with conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state between 30 August 2020 and 8 February 2023.

“Roussev, Dzhambazov, and Ivanova were previously charged on 11 February 2023 with possession of false identity documents with improper intention under section 4 of the Identity Documents Act 2010.

“The charges follow an investigation by the Metropolitan Police.”

All five are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 26 September.

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