The collection of sand, shells or pebbles is punishable by one to six years in prison in Italy.
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Tourists are now watched. The Italian town of Cabras, Sardinia, known for its huge pristine beach, launched Saturday, August 24 a system of "guardians of the sand" to report attempts to illegal collection and degradation of these valuable particles.
These "guardians of the sand", civilians who will wear a t-shirt to recognize them, are attached to the Directorate of Marine Protected Area of the Sinis Peninsula and will come in support of the bathing supervisors and Cabras police. They will be responsible for monitoring, informing tourists and reporting possible theft of sand. They will also need to collect the sand accumulated on the walkways to the beaches, empty the ashtrays and clean the areas reserved for smokers.
In recent days, 200 kg of precious white quartz sand were seized at Elmas airport by the security services who indicated it on their Facebook page "Sardegna rubata e depredata" (Sardinia stolen and degraded).
A French couple was arrested in Sardinia on August 20 with 40 kg of sand in their car, as they were preparing to embark on a ferry between Porto Torres and Toulon. The sand taken from the beach of Chia, in the south of the central island of Italy, had been placed in 14 plastic bottles. They told the police they did not know it was forbidden. The collection of sand, shells or pebbles is punishable by one to six years in prison in Italy.