(Bloomberg) -- Five Bulgarians suspected of spying for Russia are set to be formally charged by UK prosecutors, the Crown Prosecution Service said Thursday.
Three men and two women will be accused of conspiring to collect information for the Russian state for almost three years until February, the agency said.
Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31, Ivan Stoyanov, 31, and Vanya Gaberova, 29, will all be charged with the same criminal offense.
The move follows an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command. The five defendants will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Sept 26. Law enforcement authorities across Europe have been seeking to disrupt Russian spy networks since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with several countries also expelling diplomats.
“The Russians have increased their espionage efforts against the west in the last couple of decades,” Bob Seely, a Conservative member of the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview. “We need to wise up to what kind of world we live in.”
(Updates with names of defendants in second paragraph.)
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