September 6, 2020 7:10:12 pm
In yet another travel faux pas, a French tourist was caught with two kilograms of sand in his luggage that he had collected from a Sardinian beach. According to The Independent, the tourist was fined £890 — approximately Rs 86,633 — by the local Sardinian authorities responsible for the coastal protection in the region.
It is said that the Italian island’s pristine white-sand beaches are highly protected, and tourists can face heavy penalties for trying to smuggle some sand away. Penalties include one to six years in jail for theft, “with the aggravating circumstance of having stolen an asset of public utility”, the outlet reports.
“These behaviours not only harm the environment but also compromise the maintenance of the coastline for the sustainable development of tourism in Sardinia,” a press release stated, as quoted by the local media.
The island’s idyllic beaches draw tourists from all around the world. It is said the Sardinian beaches face the threat of both erosion and tourists manually removing the sand.
And this is not the first time that a tourist has been caught doing it. Some time last year, a French couple was caught with 14 bottles full of Sardinian beach sand! The man and the woman — in their 40s — were on a vacation in Italy when they decided to carry back sand from one of the beaches. 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 was obviously unaware and was caught with 40 kilograms of sand on them.
They had faced a possible jail term of one to six years.
But this restriction is not limited to the Italian island. The outlet mentions that in Hawaii, removing sand from a beach is punishable by fines up to $100,000 (Rs 73,24,620), and in the UK, doing so can cost you up to £1,000 (Rs 97,340), under their Coastal Protection Act 1949.
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