Ex-security company boss in massive fraud, firearms matter back in hot water

2017-05-18 12:05
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Cape Town - The police's national investigation unit is probing the former head of the Red Ants security company - who has been arrested several times - in a mammoth matter stretching across provinces and involving firearms and at one stage fraud totalling millions.

Dennis Klassen, a former director and chief operations officers of Red Ants Security Services, which is best known for demolishing illegally erected homes, is facing scores of charges.

These include counts of fraud, theft and the possession of unlicensed firearms.

News24 understands Klassen also has issues relating to the SA Revenue Service and could be in major trouble as he may owe the taxman tens of millions of rands.

Detained

Klassen, who has been arrested at least three times since 2014, according to sources with knowledge of the situation, was taken into custody again on May 2.

It was not clear exactly why, but it may have had to do with him having allegedly missed some court appearances.

While his latest arrest was not officially confirmed, the Hawks Gauteng spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu on Wednesday confirmed that Klassen was facing fraud charges and ones relating to unlicensed firearms.

"Both cases are being investigated by the national investigation unit (SAPS)," she said.

It is understood Klassen is expected back in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where he has before appeared, either this week or next.

Firearms arrest

Klassen was initially arrested in 2014 on his Vredenburg farm.

"Mr Klassen allegedly bought firearms at Kalahari Arms in Johannesburg and couriered them to El Paso Guns in Cape Town,” a police press statement at the time said.

"He is alleged to have used the security company’s funds to buy the firearms, which included four rifles, two pump-action shotguns and three pistols."

He had then appeared in the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

Klassen, according to police, had been released on bail on condition that he did not contact any employees of the two gun shops.

Fraud and theft

In 2015, according to another police statement, Klassen and his daughter Rochelle Klassen-Adonis, a former director of the Red Ants branch in Cape Town, had appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court in another case on 102 charges of fraud and theft involving roughly R8m.

This had followed an investigation by a specialised team of police detectives.

"[Klassen and his daughter] are accused of acting together in defrauding the company [Red Ants] assets and shares. These crimes are alleged to have taken place between 2010 and 2013," the police statement said.

News24 understands the 102 charges of fraud and theft were subsequently provisionally withdrawn.

Klassen was arrested again in September 2016.

He was taken into custody on his Vredenburg farm and then transported to Johannesburg to appear in court.

The nature of this arrest was not clear.

Insurance fraud raids and arrests

Three months before this, the Hawks had raided three properties linked to him, including Klassen’s Vredenburg farm and a Bellville home belonging to Klassen-Adonis.

During the swoop on the home Klassen-Adonis and her husband Garth Petrovich Adonis were arrested following several investigations into fraudulent insurance claims totalling hundreds of thousands of rands.

The couple were sentenced to five years in jail, wholly suspended for five years, in June 2016.

They had entered into a plea agreement in the Bellville Magistrate's Court.

Dismissed

Klassen also faced legal woes prior to this.

A judgment from the Labour Court in Johannesburg said he had been the executive manager of network field operations for Telkom SA.

But it said Klassen was dismissed on August 6 2009, after being found guilty of three of four charges he had faced.

These charges, according to the judgment, had included using Telkom resources for private business, fraud relating to a R48 000 butchery bill and a fraudulent travel claim.

A review application in this matter was dismissed.

This article has been updated to reflect that the 102 fraud and theft charges Klassen


faced were provisionally withdrawn.

Read more on:    cape town  |  fraud  |  crime

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