Suspects identified in Phoenix Bloods gang boss's murder
Police sources are adamant Periasamy’s murder was a revenge attack linked to the ongoing drug and tow truck turf wars in Durban.
They alleged drugs were being sold and distributed through the taxi, tow truck and pawn shop businesses in the Phoenix and surrounding areas.
His older brother, Kevin, 36, is now said to be heading the Bloods Gang.
A senior police source said their intelligence had revealed that the gang was allegedly mobilising support and arms to seek revenge for Periasamy’s death.
It has been alleged that a threatening voice note is being circulated on WhatsApp, warning certain tow truck drivers to “watch their backs”.
The speaker on the voice note alluded to a “revenge attack”.
At the time of his death, Periasamy was on bail awaiting trial for the 2016 murder of Enver Ramsamy, who was allegedly killed by Periasamy during an altercation at his pawn shop in Hannaford, Phoenix.
Periasamy, Kevin and his sister-in-law, Desiree, were arrested in January last year after police swooped on Kevin’s home in Phoenix and seized more than R80 000 worth of drugs and R90 000 in cash .
Periasamy was charged with assault, crimen injuria and failing to safeguard his firearm.
In 2016 the murder charge against Periasamy was provisionally withdrawn. The charges were reinstated after his arrest last year.
He was released on bail of R10 000 in February this year after he appealed against a previous bail decision on the murder charge.
Kevin and Desiree were charged with possession of and dealing in drugs.
Desiree was released on bail shortly after her arrest while Kevin was released in April. The accused are due to stand trial next month.
Periasamy, 30, was killed in the parking lot of the Gateway Theatre of Shopping on Thursday. He sustained three bullet wounds to the head, neck and throat.
Police sources who have been investigating Periasamy’s alleged life of crime for the past decade, said this week preliminary investigations had revealed that more than one tow truck operator and drug dealer had wanted him dead.
“There is no doubt that this is a revenge attack. The war between the tow truck drivers and drug dealers has intensified over the years in Phoenix,” said the police source.
“We believe that the recent spate of drive-by shootings in the area is related to this turf war.”
The source claimed Periasamy ran a “Mafia-style operation” in Phoenix.
“He was God’s curse to Earth. There are allegations that he extorted money from people, he loaned money on interest and basically had Phoenix under siege. Many people in the area are celebrating his death.”
He alleged Periasamy was the “kingpin” behind the Bloods Gang operation.
“He had nine lives. He had been linked to so many cases, but somehow always managed to walk away without being punished,” said the police source.
There have been allegations that several policemen were also on the Bloods Gang payroll.
The police sources said Periasamy knew there was a hit on him.
“Kalvin drove around in an armoured vehicle, a VW Amorak, and was protected by four bodyguards. This was a calculated move. The suspects clearly followed him and knew when he was most vulnerable.
“On the day of the shooting he was alone and that was when the suspect or suspects struck,” said the police source.
They confirmed the list of suspects was long.
“Kalvin held the monopoly of the tow truck industry in Phoenix. But he had plans to expand his business to Verulam and the Durban CBD. This could have also ruffled feathers. For those of us investigating his case, this is a blessing in disguise. We also lived in fear. Not having to deal with these cases is a relief.”
Periasamy’s wife, Jearldine, denied allegations that her husband was a gang leader or drug dealer.
“Kalvin was a legit businessman and not a drug dealer. He worked hard to provide for his family. People are targeting him and his name, and trying to make out as though he was a menace to society.”
Jearldine said his funeral on Saturday was attended by many people.
“Would there have been so many people there if he was a bad person or hated?
“Our lives have been miserable and we need people to stop tarnishing his name.”
At his funeral, Periasamy was given a send-off which included the firing of guns, spinning of vehicle tyres and a group of men performing a war cry to their “fallen leader”.
KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor and analyst Mary de Haas described this as a form of “brotherhood”.
“When a gang member dies, they pay tribute to them. These groups or gangs also have a certain language or lingo that they speak, that only they understand and not necessarily the rest of the public.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said the cases in which Periasamy was awaiting trial would proceed with respect to the other accused.
According to a leaked document compiled by a senior policeman, between January 2007 to September 2017, the Bloods Gang had 131 cases related to them.
A breakdown of the cases shows there are 20 drug-related cases, 43 contract crime cases, 15 of attempted murder, 13 of assault with intent to do Grievous Bodily Harm and 15 of which are weapons-related.