Sixth Bulgarian Charged in Alleged Russian Spy Network Case in London

Politics | February 28, 2024, Wednesday // 09:18
Bulgaria: Sixth Bulgarian Charged in Alleged Russian Spy Network Case in London

British authorities have announced the arrest of a sixth Bulgarian man suspected of involvement in a Russian spy network operating within the United Kingdom. Tihomir Ivanov Ivanchev, 38, from Acton, West London, faces charges of conspiracy to commit espionage, according to statements released by British police on Tuesday.

Ivanchev, born on July 31, 1985, was apprehended on February 7 as part of an ongoing investigation led by the Counter-Terrorism Squad. He is accused of conspiring to obtain, collect, record, publish, or communicate documents or information deemed prejudicial to the security and interests of the state, allegedly in collaboration with an unnamed adversary.

The latest development adds to the existing legal proceedings against five other Bulgarian nationals previously charged in connection with the suspected Russian spy network. Orlin Rusev, Biser Jambazov, Katrin Ivanova, Ivan Stoyanov, and Vanya Gaberova, aged between 29 and 46, were arrested in February 2023 by counter-terrorism authorities and are slated to stand trial in London this October.

During a court hearing last autumn, prosecutors asserted that the accused individuals were part of an organized network tasked with conducting surveillance and hostile activities on behalf of Russia. The group allegedly targeted specific individuals, including planning kidnappings, under the direction of Jan Marsalek and other unidentified associates.

In addition to conspiracy charges, three members of the group are accused of possessing falsified documents, including passports and identity cards from various European countries.

Ivanchev is scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Wednesday, February 28, to face the charges against him. The case underscores ongoing concerns about foreign espionage activities and highlights the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies in combating such threats.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Russian, spy, arrest

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