UK Issues More Charges Against Alleged Russian Spy

( – A sixth person, 38 years old Tihomir Ivanov Ivanchev, has been charged in the UK as part of an alleged Russian spy ring. Bulgarian national, Ivanchev, from Acton, west London, is accused of conspiring to collect information useful to an enemy. He was arrested earlier this month and is set to appear in court on Wednesday. Mr. Ivanchev is said to own a decorating business in London, which could be a possible cover for his more nefarious actions.

The charges are related to surveillance activities carried out between August 2020 and February 2023 on individuals and places targeted by Russia. Five other Bulgarian nationals are already facing charges for the same offense, with their trial scheduled for October.

Ivanchev is accused of acting in collaboration with the other defendants, a person identified as Jan Marsalek, and others unknown. Marsalek has not been charged in the case. The charges include obtaining, collecting, recording, publishing, or communicating documents or information intended to be useful to an enemy for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state.

Commander Dominic Murphy from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command stated that Ivanchev’s identification and arrest followed inquiries made after the initial five arrests in the investigation. Ivanchev was initially arrested on February 7, bailed, and charged on February 27. The Crown Prosecution Service authorized the charge against him, and he is due to appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 28.

The other five defendants, two men and three women, were remanded in custody after their arrest in September, and their trial date is set at the Old Bailey. The charges revolve around alleged spying activities, with the operating hub located in a guesthouse in Great Yarmouth. The accused individuals have varied backgrounds, including business, martial arts, and community organization. Jan Marsalek, associated with the case, has not been charged and is believed to be in Russia, having left Germany in 2020.

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