LONDON — 5 Bulgarians dwelling within the U.Okay. who had been charged with spying for Russia appeared Tuesday in court docket for an preliminary listening to.
The three males and two girls had been accused of “conspiring to gather data meant to be immediately or not directly helpful to an enemy,” particularly Russia, between August 2020 and February this 12 months.
The 5 are alleged to be a part of a community conducting surveillance on behalf of Russia. A lot of the exercise occurred overseas, however coordination occurred within the U.Okay., prosecutors mentioned.
The 5 — Orlin Roussev, 45;, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41; Katrin Ivanova, 31; Ivan Stoyanov, 31; and Vanya Gaberova, 29 — appeared Tuesday by video at Westminster Magistrates’ Court docket in London. The suspects, who’re in custody in separate prisons, spoke solely to substantiate primary particulars.
The suspects had been arrested by the Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism officers in February beneath the Official Secrets and techniques Act.
Roussev, Dzhambazov, and Ivanova had been charged in February with having false identification paperwork, however information about them didn’t emerge till August.
The three are accused of possessing 34 ID paperwork, a few of which had been suspected to be false, from the U.Okay., Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and the Czech Republic.
All 5 had been remanded into custody till their subsequent look on the Central Felony Court docket on Oct. 13.
Particulars concerning the suspects and the way they operated stay patchy. Roussev reportedly labored in telecoms companies, and his LinkedIn profile states that he was the proprietor of a man-made intelligence firm named NewGenTech. He was reportedly dwelling in a guesthouse within the city of Nice Yarmouth, on japanese England’s coast, when he was arrested.
Ivanova’s on-line profile describes her as a medical laboratory assistant, whereas authorities information present that Gaberova was a beautician who ran a west London salon known as Fairly Girl from 2019. British media have printed pictures of Gaberova posing at eyelash extension competitions.
The suspects had been accused of conspiring to gather data with “one other particular person often known as Jan Marsalek and others unknown.”
Marsalek, an Austrian nationwide who shouldn’t be charged in reference to the case, was the previous chief working officer of German cost programs supplier Wirecard, which collapsed in 2020 in a fraud scandal.
Marsalek, who is taken into account a key determine in that scandal, has been on the run for the reason that summer season of 2020. His whereabouts stay unclear.
Related Press author Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.