POLICE have smashed a Durban syndicate believed to be behind the theft of more than a million rand’s worth of metal Armco barriers.

The SAPS vehicle provincial task team was patrolling in Himalaya Road, Merebank, last night when they spotted the suspects pretending to be construction workers.

The suspects were dressed in overalls and reflector jackets.

Police questioned the “workers”, who then told them they were taking the barriers to a scrap metal dealer in Chatsworth.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the syndicate had been well equipped with the necessary machinery to remove the metal barriers.

They were being loaded into vehicles.

The suspects were arrested and led police to the dealer’s premises this morning.

Police found a large container with more than a million rand’s worth of barriers stored in it.

The container is believed to be for export to India, Naicker said.

The owner of the scrap metal business said he was surprised by the raid.

He said he had no knowledge the barriers had been stolen.

He was questioned by police but not arrested. The dealer implicated a Durban businessman saying he had bought barriers from him since May 23 for more than R133 000.

Naicker said more barriers were found stored at a nearby vacan property which was rented by the scrap metal dealer.

The suspects are expected to appear in court on Monday on charges of theft. Further arrests are imminent, Naicker said.