Heavy fines for beach sand smuggling

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Everyone knows what golden sand is. Single amateurs, large “artels” and even entire companies tirelessly wash the gold-bearing sand, extracting grains of precious metal from it. But it turns out that ordinary beach sand, at least taken from the beaches of the Italian island of Sardinia, may turn out to be “golden”.

An unnamed French tourist was recently fined $ 1,200 when a 4.4-pound bottle of sand was found while inspecting his luggage at Cagliari Elmas Airport. A spokesman for the island’s Forestry Service said the bottle was confiscated and placed in a confiscated warehouse, which by the end of the year “has accumulated quite a few of these souvenirs.”

In 2017, local authorities passed legislation banning the removal of sand from the beaches of Sardinia. Fines for breaking the law range from $ 600 to $ 3550, depending on the weight of the sand and the location where it was taken. Especially popular are beaches with sparkling white, colorful or pink sand.

The law was passed because these kinds of incidents “became more frequent and more problematic,” added a representative of the Forestry Service. “Last year, we discovered internet sites that sold sand from our beaches as souvenirs. Over the past three years, we have significantly strengthened control over the illegal export of sand and are cooperating in this matter with the police, who have increased the punishment for such violations. “

Sardinia is not the only island “paradise” where visitors are watched trying to take away souvenirs from local beaches. On the Greek island of Skiathos, you can be fined up to $ 1,100 if you bring a beach pebble with you. And in Hawaii, the punishment is even more severe: violators can be fined up to $ 100,000 for removing sand from island beaches.

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