Tourists Face GBP 30k Fines For Pinching Sand From Italian Beaches

Two tourists are facing massive fines of nearly GBP 30,000 after being caught red-handed with sand taken from 11 protected beaches in Italy.

Picture shows the eleven jars with sand and labels indicating as different beaches, undated. During the inspection of passengers embarking from the port of Olbia, Italy, agents found the jars and fined two Italian tourists, on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. (Newsflash)

The pair were seized as they boarded a ferry in Olbia, Sardinia, bound for Livorno, on the Italian mainland on 14th August.

But a search of their luggage revealed 11 labelled specimen jars of sand, each marked with the name of the beach they were taken from.

Officials from the Sardinian Sea Port System Authority confiscated the haul, according to Italian media.

Under local law, it is forbidden to take sand, shells, pebbles, animals or even plants from beaches.

Fines typically range from EUR 500 to EUR 3,000 (GBP 429 to GBP 2,573) for each offence, according to Italian media.

That could lead to total fines of up to EUR 33,000 (GBP 28,303).

Labels on the jars of sand show the tourists – Italian nationals who live in Modena – took the samples from Capriccioli, Principe, Lu Impostu, Cala Brandinchi, Liscia Ruja, Romazzino, and Grande Pevero Beaches.

This is the second case of theft from Sardinian beaches in just three days.

Two Italian holidaymakers had attempted to board an Olbia ferry, with a protected pinna nobilis clam and some shells in their luggage.