Orlin Roussev, 45, Biser Dzhambazov, 42, and Katrin Ivanova, 31, were all arrested in February (Picture: BBC)
The suspected spies accused of spying for Russia in the UK led ordinary suburban lives and developed a taste for the classic English breakfast.
Orlin Roussev, 45, Biser Dzhambazov, 42, and Katrin Ivanova, 31, all Bulgarian nationals, were arrested as part of a major police sting on their homes in Harrow, London, and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in February.
But it was only yesterday that details of the charges emerged and they were put under the spotlight.
They were charged with possessing false passports and ID cards and other documents ‘with improper intention’ under the Identity Documents Act.
Even when they were arrested, neighbours voiced their shock at the three who held down ordinary jobs and had not drawn any suspicion for many years.
Dzhambazov and Ivanova lived in a rented £1,100-a-month apartment in a modern block of flats in Harrow.
Ivanova moved to the UK to work as a laboratory assistant for a private healthcare company, while Dzhambazov was a hospital driver.
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The pair gifted their neighbours with pies and cakes and got a taste for the traditional English breakfast.
The three suspected spies led ordinary suburban lives like many other Brits (Picture: BBC/Linkedin/Biser)
Simon Corsini, 49, who owns Gino’s Cafe, told The Independent they would order the ‘Super Breakfast’ – a £7 dish of egg, bacon, beans and tomato, accompanied by four slices of bread.
Dzhambazov developed a love for hashbrowns and ordered these on the side too.
Simon said the couple blended in very well to the local community and said: ‘No one would give them a second glance.
‘It is not something that you would expect, and it is quite a shock.
‘I can’t say that I am worried. There have been three stabbings in Harrow and that worries me more.’
They both ran a community organisation providing services for Bulgarians living in the UK, including help familiarising them with the ‘culture and norms of British society’.
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, has become the unexpected location of where a suspected Russia spy lived (Picture: Google Maps)
According to Bulgarian state documents they also worked for election commissions in London which help expats to vote in Bulgarian elections.
The couple had helped around 1,500 people and believed ‘people should selflessly help each other because this will help the Bulgarian community maintain a good image in the UK’, according to Bulgarian national radio.
Ivanova used to party at a popular Bulgarian restaurant in Palmers Green in north London, as seen on photos from her social media.
The couple’s alleged spy comrade Orlin Roussev was living in a bed-and-breakfast hotel in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
He was living at the Haydee Hotel, which is owned by a Bulgarian businesswoman,and Roussev is fluent in English, Russian and Bulgarian.
He moved to the UK in 2009.
Roussev studied at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and is a former adviser to the Bulgarian ministry of energy, according to his Linkedin profile.
While living in the UK he set up his own technology business registered with Companies House, although it was later dissolved.
He also claimed he was working on a new television project on his Linkedin which he said was ‘redefining TV’ and offered ‘the next generation multi-screen TV, any-time, any-place at your finger tips, when you want it, what you want’.
It is understood police found Discovery and National Geographic television channel uniforms, reportedly used to carry out surveillance operations.
Roussev also said he was a software developer and ‘accomplished network engineer’.
Those working in neighbouring businesses said they had seen no sign of guests at the property in at least a year.
While some saw a blue police tent erected outside a few months ago, no one questioned it because locals are used to a police presence.
Billy, a 28-year-old bartender, said: ‘It’s either nothing happens – or everything happens, from petty theft up to people getting killed … It’s a seaside town, it’s kind of part and parcel unfortunately.’
The three suspects appeared at the Old Bailey last month. They have yet to enter any plea to the identity document charges they face and are due for trial next year.
A man and woman arrested in London as part of the same Official Secrets Act probe were released on bail in February and are due to return next month.
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