Five alleged spies accused by the UK of being part of a Russian spy ring are also reported to have links to disgraced Wirecard chief Jan Marsalek.
Bulgarian nationals, Orlin Roussev, Bizer Dzhambazov, Katrin Ivanova, Ivan Stoyanov, and Vanya Gaberova have all been linked with surveillance and providing information to Russian authorities.
All five of the detainees have been charged with conspiracy to collect information with the goal of supporting an enemy state in its efforts to compromise the safety and interests of the UK, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Roussev, who authorities claim to be the “brains” of the group, is a tech entrepreneur with business interests in Russia, having also previously worked as an adviser to the Bulgarian Ministry of Energetics in a previous cabinet.
Apparently a tech entrepreneur, from one of his social profiles Roussev appears to have been the owner of a company called NewGenTech LTD, dealing with “Microwave, RF and High Frequency Technologies”.
A quick check in the UK’s company registry shows that a firm under the same name owned by Orlin Roussev has been dissolved in November 2021, meaning that British authorities might have been suspecting the accused individuals long before their arrest.
Marsalek’s links to Russia and life away from Wirecard were brought to light in the Netflix documentary Skandal, which portrayed the downfall of German fintech, Wirecard.
Marsalek, who remains on the run after the Wirecard downfall, is not currently charged with the ongoing case, however did reportedly give out instructions to the five defendants on trial in London.
When the global fintech sector was thriving, Wirecard was very much lauded as Germany’s answer to PayPal and the golden child of the sector, however, its crisis garnered global headlines and cost millions.