Britain’s counterterrorism unit arrested 5 individuals months in the past on suspicion of spying on British intelligence, the authorities stated on Tuesday after a BBC report on the case earlier within the day recognized three of the identical individuals as Bulgarian nationals suspected of spying for Russia’s safety providers.
A press release from the London Metropolitan Police stated that the 5 individuals had been arrested in February below the Official Secrets and techniques Act 1911, which criminalizes spying in opposition to the pursuits and security of Britain. Specialist officers from a unit of the drive that covers nationwide safety policing, carried out the arrests after an investigation, the police assertion stated, however not one of the 5 have been formally charged with espionage. The assertion didn’t deal with the BBC report straight.
Three of the individuals had been recognized by each the BBC and by the police as Orlin Roussev, 45; Biser Dzambazov, 42; and Katrin Ivanova, 32. The police stated that they had been individually charged with possessing false identification paperwork with “improper intention.” The BBC report stated that they had been charged with possessing false paperwork, together with passports and identification playing cards for Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Slovenia.
The police stated that Mr. Roussev lived within the jap English county of Norfolk, and that Mr. Dzambazov and Ms. Ivanova lived within the London district of Harrow.
The authorities in Britain, a key ally to Ukraine within the struggle in opposition to Russia’s invasion, have expressed concern about rising threats to nationwide safety from Russia. In latest weeks, Britain has expanded sanctions in Russia to incorporate international suppliers serving to Russia’s struggle effort.
However even earlier than the struggle, high-profile assaults had stoked fears over the attain of Moscow’s interference, amongst them the 2006 deadly poisoning of Alexander V. Litvinenko, a former Russian dissident. Prosecutors additionally accused two Russian officers of the tried homicide in 2018 of Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian intelligence officer within the quiet English metropolis of Salisbury.