Port Elizabeth - Five Italian men have been arrested for fraud in the Eastern Cape after allegedly trying to sell heavy duty goods worth an estimated R3 million, police said on Tuesday.

The men, aged between 32 and 60, were arrested on Monday, Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said.

The men allegedly pretended to be buyers of heavy duty equipment, who were unable to transport them back to Italy.

They then approached people and tried to sell the equipment at a discounted rate.

“They even make their offer convincing by showing the potential buyer the copy of a fake invoice of the equipment which reflects a much higher purchase price.

“The equipment includes heavy duty drills, chainsaws and generators to name but a few,” Janse van Rensburg said.

Two of the men, travelling in a Toyota Venture, were arrested in Colchester, near Port Elizabeth, in possession of some of the equipment. They were wanted in Nigel on similar charges.

Three others were arrested at a bed and breakfast in Jeffreys Bay after a case was reported in Humewood, Port Elizabeth.

They were in possession of a large quantity of the equipment, an undisclosed amount of money and copies of stickers used to hide the equipment's brand names, Janse van Rensburg said.

“One suspect is still on the run and police are following leads to arrest him.”

The group would appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Thursday.