Updated: August 21, 2019 7:33:36 pm
Post our travel sojourns, we always carry with us a memento so as to be lovingly bound to the place. But now, a seemingly-innocuous act has proven to be punishing for a French couple, who faces six years’ jail for taking with them some sand from a beach in Sardinia in Italy.
According to the local media, the couple — a man and a woman in their 40s — were on a vacation in Italy when they decided to carry back sand from one of the pristine beaches. The island’s white sand, however, is protected. A law, enforced 2017, states that it is illegal to carry sand, pebbles, seashells from the Sardinian beaches. Heavy fines are slapped on tourists who are found violating the law.
The couple in question, however, said they were unaware of the law. They were shocked to learn that they had, in fact, committed a crime. They were found guilty when local police — on their routine checks — spotted as many as 14 bottles filled with sand inside the couple’s car that was on its way to a France-bound ferry. Overall, 40 kilograms of sand was found on them.
They now face a fine of up to €3,000 ($3,300) and a jail term between one to six years.