That is some expensive sand.
Authorities allegedly caught a French tourist stealing sand from an Italian beach. Due to the unique nature of the sand on that particular beach, there are strict laws to prevent its removal and the traveler reportedly faces a stiff fine.
The unnamed person was recently caught with a plastic bottle filled with sand, according to a report by Euronews, one of Sardinia’s beaches. The Italian island is located in the Mediterranean Sea, covered in fine sand for its pristine beaches.
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While sand can make for a good souvenir, it is also labeled as a protected resource, making it illegal to remove anyone from the island.
Local officials in Sardinia said in a statement given by Euronews, “These behaviors not only harm the environment, but also compromise the maintenance of the beach for the sustainable development of tourism in Sardinia.”
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The tourist reportedly stuffed about four and a half pounds of sand in his luggage when he was caught by authorities at the Elmas Airport on the island. For that amount of sand, the tourist is reportedly fined $ 1,200.
The sand from the beaches of Sardinia has been safely preserved since 2017, reports of travel and rest. The penalty for stealing sand from beaches can range from a fine to several years in prison.
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According to the news outlet, officers seized the bottle and kept it in their operating room. Local officials say that it is not uncommon for people to try to take sand from the beaches and that authorities usually have several containers of sand collected by the end of each year.