So far, tonnes of sand, pebbles, and shells stolen by tourists have been confiscated at the three main Sardinia’s airports. At Cagliari-Elmas, SOGAER SECURITY Staff regularly checks tourists’ luggage for consignments of sand, according to prior agreement with Sardinian Forest Service and Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC).
Security procedure and theft control at Cagliari airport have been reinforced following the tourism regulation issued by Regione Sardegna. The second clause of Article 40 states that sand theft is illegal, and sand thieves are now being warned that they could be fined anywhere from €500 to €3,000 if they are caught with sand, pebbles or shells taken from Sardinia’s beaches without a previously issued authorisation.
However, the huge amount of beach materials confiscated by SOGAER Security last summer show that fines do not seem to be an effective deterrent. Many tourists still defend themselves by saying that they did not know it was illegal and they just wanted a souvenir.
Statements of this kind can no longer be accepted since the aforementioned regulation has come to have legal force, and preventive measures have been taken (e.g. prohibitions signs on the beaches, information campaigns, and awareness raising project launched by both Forest Service and WWF).
Therefore, zero tolerance at Cagliari airport, where the intensification of surveillance has been extolled by the institutions involved. SOGAER Security members have been praised for the role played in safeguarding the natural heritage of Sardinia.