Tourists face six years' jail after 'stealing from pristine beach'

Tourists face six years' jail after 'stealing from pristine beach'”

Police discovered the sand crammed into 14 plastic bottles taken from the beach in Chia, southern Sardinia, in the trunk of an SUV belonging to the couple.

Sardinian sand is a popular item for resale on sites like eBay, and smugglers attempt to remove tons of it every year.

A French couple is facing years of jail time after stealing nearly 90 pounds of sand from Sardinia, the Italian island known for its picturesque beaches. If found guilty, they face one to six years in jail for aggravated theft.

They were reportedly about to board a ferry to Toulon in France when they were stopped by the police.

One of the local administrators of a Facebook page called "Sardegna Rubata e Depredata" - Sardiania, robbed and plundered - which campaigns against people stealing sand told CNN Travel the website was to raise public awareness of the worrying trend.

Two tourists could face jail time after allegedly stealing 40kg of sand from a pristine Italian beach.

More news: Italy's political crisis comes to a head as PM tipped to quit

In 1994, access to the renowned pink beach on Budelli island to the north-east of Sardinia was banned amid concerns about its future.

Some visitors who succeed in smuggling sand off the island sell the bottled souvenirs for a profit online, the BBC reported. Almost three million tourists visit the semiautonomous region each year.

Earlier this year, the airport partnered with nature preserves on the island to return stolen sand, pebbles and shells to their point of origin whenever possible.

Over the last 10 years, authorities have seized almost 10 tons of sand taken from the Mediterranean island's shores, Local Italy reported. More than six tons has made its way back to Porto San Paolo alone.

And in 2008, industrious thieves in Jamaica made off with 500 truckloads of white sand from Coral Spring Beach in Trelawny.

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