Man from Acton Charged with Spying for Russia

Bulgarian national sixth arrest in connection with investigation

Pretty Woman on Churchfield Road. Picture: Google Streetview


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February 28, 2024

A 38-year-old Bulgarian national living in Acton has been charged with being part of a suspected ring of spies working for the Russian security services.

Tihomir Ivanov Ivanchev was arrested earlier this month and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court this Wednesday (28 February).

Five other Bulgarians were arrested in February 2023 and charged in September with espionage offences. Those detained included 29-year-old Vanya Gaberova, also, who ran the Pretty Woman beauty salon on Churchfield Road. Ivanchev, who is described as owning a decorating business, is registered as having the same address as Gaberova.

They face trial at the Old Bailey this October after being remanded in custody .

Ivanchev faces the same charge of "conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy" after being arrested on 7 February and bailed.

As well as Gaberova, the other accused are Orlin Roussev, 46, from Great Yarmouth, Bizer Dzhambazov 43, and Katrin Ivanova, 32, of Harrow and Ivan Stoyanov, 32, of Greenford.

They are accused of surveilling people and places at the instruction of the Russians between August 2020 and February 2023. Three of the defendants - Roussev, Dzhambazov and Ivanova - were found with false passports from a number of countries after police raids in February. The security services are understood to believe they are part of a cell which was monitoring activity at RAF Northolt.

Ivanchev is also accused of working with a person named as Jan Marsalek, an Austrian nation who fled to Russia after being accused of fraud, and others unknown as well as the five other suspects.

Vanya Gaberova. Picture: Vanya Gaberova/Facebook

It is alleged surveillance was carried out on people and places targeted by Russia.

Commander Dominic Murphy, from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command, said, Ivanchev was "was identified and arrested as a result of inquiries made following the previous five arrests in this investigation".

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