Ambassador Raykov: British authorities have officially confirmed that the 3 Bulgarians are in Prison

Politics » DIPLOMACY | August 18, 2023, Friday // 09:14
Bulgaria: Ambassador Raykov: British authorities have officially confirmed that the 3 Bulgarians are in Prison H.E. Marin Raykov

The Bulgarian ambassador to the UK, Marin Raykov, has received official confirmation from the British authorities that the three Bulgarians arrested on suspicion of espionage for Russia are in prison.

A total of five people were arrested in a British police raid in February, two of whom were known to be out on bail. However, there was some uncertainty as to whether the Bulgarians Orlin Rusev, Biser Jambazov and Katrin Ivanova were still in prison.

Here is what Ambassador Marin Raykov said for the Bulgarian National Radio:

"As you are aware 48 hours ago as a result of great public, I would say curiosity, I made a formal inquiry to the British authorities as to the precise whereabouts of the three Bulgarian nationals in question to ensure that the information we have that they are being held, is correct. I can say that today I received an official reply to my inquiry in the appropriate form. Yes, indeed, the three Bulgarian nationals are currently in prison or prisons to be exact. And we have the necessary details, including their prison numbers and everything we need that interests us".

Ambassador Raykov added that he cannot tell the media exactly which prisons they are, given the nature of the ongoing investigation.

Yesterday, a number of British media continued to write about the topic.

The "Daily Telegraph" highlighted the investigation launched in Sofia into the activities of the trio due to concerns that, as part of a pro-Kremlin network, they may have tried to interfere in the Bulgarian elections in the UK. It is believed that their alleged activities were not limited to the UK, where they have been based for about a decade, and that their task was to monitor anti-Kremlin figures, including journalists, across Europe. They are being investigated for links to the "Vazrazhdane" party, known for its anti-Western, pro-Russian stance.

In another publication of the same newspaper, it is claimed that the three Bulgarians, detained on suspicion of spying for Russia, for 10 years used a flat in West London, not far from Northolt Air Force Base, which is regularly used by ministers, heads of foreign states and NATO, as well as members of the royal family, for flights abroad.

The newspaper "Times" wrote that "a neglected guest house in Great Yarmouth was the naval headquarters of the Russian Agent 007", referring to Orlin Rusev, considered the leader of the group. Hotel "Heidi" is owned by Irina Parvanova, a Bulgarian businesswoman, who bought it for £220,000 in 2021. A police search of a room in the house found equipment used to make fake identity documents, including passports and driving licenses.

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Tags: Raykov, prison, british, Bulgarian

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