French couple face jail for taking sand from a beach in Sardinia

A French couple could face up to six years in jail after they were caught with 40kg of sand from a beach in Sardinia in their car.

The pair said they were taking it back as a souvenir and did not realise it was a crime.

It was taken from the beach of Chia in the island’s south and put into plastic bottles.

The bottles were found by police in the boot of their vehicle when they were getting on the ferry back to France.

Italian news agency Ansa said they face a theft charge, with the aggravating circumstance of having stolen an asset destined for public utility.

Since August 1, 2017, taking sand from Sardinia is punishable.

Sardinian authorities have got tougher with tourists who steal sand from the island’s pristine beaches as a souvenir and have been issuing fines of up to €3,000.

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