Former Bulgarian Swimmer Arrested in UK on Espionage Charges for Russia

Politics » DEFENSE | February 29, 2024, Thursday // 10:25
Bulgaria: Former Bulgarian Swimmer Arrested in UK on Espionage Charges for Russia

Another Bulgarian national has been apprehended in the United Kingdom on allegations of espionage for Russia. The court in London has determined that 38-year-old Tihomir Ivanchev will remain in custody indefinitely, joining five other compatriots who have been detained for espionage-related offenses for over a year.

Ivanchev, a former competitive swimmer in Bulgaria approximately 15 years ago, transitioned to running his own business in the UK, specializing in repair and painting services. Despite his athletic background, Ivanchev's activities have taken a stark turn, leading to his involvement in espionage accusations.

Of particular interest to investigators is Ivanchev's connection to another detainee, Vanya Gaberova, with whom he shared a close friendship. Notably, Ivanchev's company headquarters were in close proximity to Gaberova's hair salon, and the two were reportedly registered at the same address for a period of time.

Authorities have revealed that Ivanchev was tasked with surveillance activities involving individuals in Austria and Montenegro. However, the exact extent of his involvement in the espionage network remains unclear. The Crown Prosecution Service in the UK has affirmed its commitment to identifying and prosecuting all individuals linked to the spy ring.

The espionage operation, led by 46-year-old Orlin Rusev, reportedly received directives from Jan Marsalek, a figure notorious for his involvement in one of Germany's largest financial fraud cases. While Ivanchev's role within the network is yet to be fully elucidated, his arrest underscores the ongoing threat posed by foreign espionage activities on UK soil.

As investigations continue, authorities are intensifying efforts to dismantle the spy network and ensure national security against external threats.

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Tags: Bulgarian, espionage, UK, Russia

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