In an interesting turn of events, a French tourist was slapped with a hefty fine for stealing sand from the picturesque beaches of Sardinia in Italy. Don’t believe us? Read on to know more about this puzzling incident. By Amitha Ameen

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sardinia Points of view (@mauro_mancini_photography) on

According to media reports, a French man was fined £890 (INR 86,633) by coastal protection authorities after he was found trying to smuggle more than two kilograms of beach sand in his bag. The white sand of the Italian island Sardinia’s idyllic beaches is not only coveted but also protected, and every year plenty of tourists face fines and jail time while trying to smuggle the sand from the beaches.

Because of the regular sand smuggling attempts, the beaches have been facing a threat of erosion. And because of this, the government in 2017 had introduced a law that prohibits sand stealing from these beaches and also made it a punishable offence. In addition to the sand, carrying pebbles and seashells too would be considered illegal. As far as the penalties are concerned, offenders can look at anywhere between one to six years in jail.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Coasting (@coasting) on

“These behaviours not only harm the environment but also compromise the maintenance of the coastline for the sustainable development of tourism in Sardinia,” said a local press release ( as reported on Indian Express).

The beaches of Sardinia are known for their pure white sands with some even exhibiting pink hues. Each year, coastal authorities confiscate many such bottles of sand, with one incident even reporting a couple trying to smuggle nearly 40 kilograms of sand in 14 bottles last year.

Related: Climate Alert! Italy’s Famous Marmolada Glacier May Disappear In The Next 15 Years