Queensland University of Technology
Image: Kgbo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

‘No records’ of suspected Russian spy graduating from claimed university

Queensland University of Technology has cast doubts on claims made by a suspected Russian spy to have studied at the Australian institution between 1997 and 2001.

Orlin Roussev, a 45-year-old Bulgarian national, was one of five individuals arrested in the United Kingdom earlier this year on suspicion of an offense under the Official Secrets Act, as first reported this week by BBC News.

Roussev claims on LinkedIn to run a technology business involved in a broad range of areas including signals intelligence and communications security, although companies registration records show this business was dissolved almost two years ago.

His profile also lists him as having been employed in a number of technical roles after studying at Queensland University of Technology, but a spokesperson for the institution told Recorded Future News they had “no records of anyone with that name graduating from the university.”

Roussev is currently in custody and could not be reached for comment.

Of the five suspected spies arrested in February, three have since been charged with possession of false identity documents, which BBC News reported include “passports, identity cards and other documents for the UK, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, and the Czech Republic.”

The individuals who have been charged are Orlin Roussev, 45, of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; Biser Dzambazov, 42, of Harrow in west London; and Katrin Ivanova, 32, also of Harrow. The three are currently in custody and due to go on trial in London in January. It is not known how they will plead to the charges.

The other two individuals who were also arrested in relation to the Official Secrets Act investigation have not yet been charged. They are a 31-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman living in London. Both are due to return from bail next month, according to the Metropolitan Police.

Roussev has lived in the United Kingdom since 2009, and claims on LinkedIn to run several businesses, including an online streaming website called MyTotalTV.

According to Companies House, MyTotalTV has two other directors, a British national called Patrick Brown and a Bulgarian-Israeli national called Eyal Natan.

Brown did not respond to Recorded Future News when contacted for comment.

In a copied-and-pasted message asking journalists to stop contacting him, Natan said: “I am being contacted by journalists, you being one of them, about an ex-business associate from many years ago, a Mr Orlin Roussev. Myself nor any of my firms has had any dealings with him or his company for over 8 years and I have no idea what he has been doing for this time.”

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.