Tempted to take home some pristine white sand as a souvenir from your vacation? Take note to always check whether that’s actually legal or not. Case in point? A French tourist has a fine of €1,000 ($1,200) for attempting to steal sand from a local beach in Sardinia.
The tourist was caught trying to fly out of Cagliari Elmas Airport on September 1st with more than 4 lbs of sand in a bottle in his suitcase. Under local law, the beautiful white sand is Sardinia has protections as a natural resource. Tourists face fines and even jail time for removing it from local beaches.
Tourist Receives Fine of $1,200 for Trying to Steal Sand from the Island of Sardinia
“The bottle was confiscated and is in now in our operating room where we hold these confiscated items,” a spokesperson for Sardinia’s forest rangers told CNN. “At the end of the year we usually have many bottles of sand accumulated.”
A press release from local authorities on the incident says that taking sand is harmful for the coastline. The statement says: “These behaviours not only harm the environment but also compromise the maintenance of the coastline for the sustainable development of tourism in Sardinia.”
This isn’t the first time for something similar to happen. In August 2019, a French couple were arrested in Sardinia with 40 kg of sand in their car as they were about to board a ferry bound for Toulon.
Local often report incidents to police and there are even local Facebook pages that monitor the beaches. So if you want to take a piece of paradise home, think twice next time.