Beautician accused of spying for Russia said she had ‘no interest’ in politics

Vanya Gaberova, a Bulgarian beautician, has been accused of spying for Russia.

Gaberova, 29, runs a beauty salon called Pretty Woman along a busy west London street.

Gaberova is one of five Bulgarians living in London who has been accused of spying for Moscow.

She joins Orlin Roussev, 45, Bizer Dzhambazov, 41, Katrin Ivanova, 31 and Ivan Stoyanov, 31, who will all appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 26, according to the Crown Prosecution Service. This follows an investigation by Metropolitan Police.

The five defendants are alleged to have spyed for an operational spy cell for the Russian security services, and are accused of working on active operations across Europe collecting for and sharing information with the Russian state.

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However, customers say they never would have figured Gaberova was a spy.

Her regular customers said she never talked about politics, and was polite and professional.

“I thought Vanya was Russian and started speaking to her about the Ukraine war and if she was affected by it,” said customer Maya Parmar to the Daily Mail. “She told me that she was Bulgarian but had no interest in politics and didn’t even know who the leader of Russia was. When I told her it was Vladimir Putin, she shrugged her shoulders and said: ‘Who? I don’t know anything about him. I only know about beauty.'”

“She never wanted to speak about anything serious,” Parmar said. “Sometimes I’d discuss the politics of Britain and she said she didn’t know anything about that either. She’s the last person in the world who you’d think would be a spy.”

Neighbors of the Pretty Woman salon said they have not seen Gaberova for some months now. The salon is mainly run by her five employees.

Gaberova lives in an apartment near the salon with her boyfriend who is a decorator.

Gaberova specialises in ‘Russian mega-volume’ lashes, and has won many prizes in the UK, Bulgaria, and Russia. Her salon, which opened in 2019, has glowing reviews online.

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