A taxi owned by Kevin Periasamy with the word "Bloodz" emblazoned on it outside his home during a raid this year. Pictures: Arthi Gopi

Durban - Some of the men arrested by Phoenix police over the years on drug charges have the word " Bloodz" tattooed on their chest.

The men who police allege head the Bloods gang, brothers Kevin and Kalvin Periasamy - both in custody awaiting trial on drug and other charges - have the word emblazoned on the minibus taxis they run out of Phoenix.

And while many police members and community members believe the gang exists, the family of two brothers dispute that such a gang even exists.

Their sister Melissa Misra, Kevin’s wife Desiree and Kalvin’s wife Jearldine, said the brothers were legitimate businessmen running mini-bus taxis, tow trucks, a panel-beating business, a pawn shop and a salon.

Kevin, 36 and Kalvin, 29, and four others are expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. They were arrested in January after the police raided one of their properties in Phoenix.

Misra said their taxis were emblazoned with “Bloodz” and some of the men arrested had the word tattooed on their chests because the word was a symbol of American hip-hop culture.

She said tattoos should not define a person. 

“The taxis are branded with some music groups. The Bloods are a gang from America which a certain rap artist speaks about. There is no gang in operation here,” she said. 

One of the men appearing in court alongside brothers Kevin and Kalvin Periasamy, Vuyani Nyawose. He has the word Bloodz tattooed on his chest.

Desiree said that as they were Christians, Bloodz also represented the blood of Jesus.

“Our kids are being victimised and labelled the children of drug dealers. There are lies being peddled to the public,” Desiree said. 

Appearing in court on Wednesday Jason Alexander, Shaun Mawesa, Justin Williams and Vuyani Nyawose. They were arrested in January.

Police said they had recovered R97 156 in cash, two pistols, a shotgun, 64 live rounds of ammunition, 1 836 heroin caps, 138 heroin straws, 80 large crack cocaine pieces, 30 mandrax tablets, three bags of cocaine, two ecstasy pills and 186 grams of dagga during the raid. The men face more than 30 charges, including drug dealing, crimen injuria, robbery, intimidation, kidnapping and assault.

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