Russian ‘spy’ is beautician, 29, who won at the 2019 Lash and Brow Championship

A woman charged by the UK with allegedly spying for Russia is understood to be a beautician specialising in eyelash treatments with her base in West London.

Vanya Gaberova, 29, is one of five Bulgarians accused of gathering "useful" information for the Kremlin while living in the UK. The pretty brunette won prizes at the 2019 Grand Balkan Lash and Brow Championship and owned a shop called Pretty Woman in Acton until her arrest.

Gaberova, who apparently studied at the University of National and World Economy in Bulgaria, is a “lashes extensions specialist” and is an “accredited eyelash educator”, winning many prizes in the UK and Bulgaria.

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However, she is alleged to have been leading a secret life spying for Russia. Gaberova, along with Orlin Roussev, Bizer Dzhambazov, Katrin Ivanova and Ivan Stoyanov will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, September 26.

All of them are accused of conspiring to gather information, which would be useful to an enemy between August 2020 and February 2023.

Three of the defendants – Roussev, Dzhambazov and Ivanova – were allegedly found with false identity documents, according to the Met Police.

They allegedly had identity documents for the UK, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, and the Czech Republic. The five Bulgarians were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command in February under the Official Secrets Act.

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, said: "The CPS has authorised a charge of conspiracy to conduct espionage.

"With conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy for a purpose prejudicial to the safety and interest of the state."

The latter three have lived in the UK for years, working in a variety of jobs, and living in a series of suburban properties.

Roussev has a history of business dealings in Russia and moved to the UK in 2009 and spent three years working in a technical role in financial services.

His online LinkedIn profile states he later owned a business involved in signals intelligence, which involves the interception of communications or electronic signals.

Dzhambazov is described as a driver for hospitals, and Ivanova describes herself on her online LinkedIn profile as a laboratory assistant for a private health business.

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