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Tourists fined as police seize nearly 100 kg of sand taken from Sardinia

Tuesday, June 8th 2021, 11:03 am - Sardinia's beaches are protected, but that hasn't stopped tourists from taking sand and shells.

Nearly 100 kilograms of sand, stone, and shells stolen from beaches in Sardinia, Italy last summer have been seized by police and returned to the shores they were taken from, CNN reports.

Officials collected the items during routine airport checks on departing travellers and issued fines to the 41 tourists who took the items as souvenirs. Penalties ranged from around $700 to $4,000 CAD.

While 200 pounds is less than the amount collected in past years - authorities recovered more than 10 tons of sand during airport checks between 2009 and 2019 - the quantity remains significant, given the widespread lockdowns and restrictions in place throughout 2020.

Sardinia is famous for its white and pink beaches, which are protected. Despite the risk of steep fines and possible jail time, tourists often help themselves to beach property.

In 2019, a pair of French tourists faced up to six years in prison when 88 kilograms of Sardinian sand stuffed into water bottles was discovered in their car as they awaited a ferry.

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