A tourist has been fined for taking almost 2kg of pristine white sand from an Italian beach in his luggage.
The French tourist was ordered to pay £900 as he attempted to fly out of Sardinia, reports CNN.
Tourists could face jail time for stealing the protected sand as well as fines at the idyllic beaches.
On September 1, the man who has not been named was taken into custody at Cagliari Elmas Airport.
He was found in possession of a bottle which contained the 2kg of white sand.
A spokesman for the island’s Forest Rangers told CNN: “The bottle was confiscated and is in now in our operating room where we hold these confiscated items. At the end of the year we usually have many bottles of sand accumulated.”
Since 2017 it is illegal to take sand from Sardinia’s beaches.
The spokesman also revealed “incredible” beaches with white, pink or coloured sand are usually targeted.
“Last year we found a website that was selling our sand as souvenirs. It’s become a very known phenomenon here in Europe,” he added.
However, despite many targeting the local beaches, he said controls are now much stricter – “The sanctions are much more serious — we work with the police and they alert us.”
Loyal members of the public are also encouraged to report if they see others stealing sand.
According to CNN cops seized 39kg of sand from a couple visiting the island last year.
In 2018, a Brit was fined £760 for taking sand from a local beach near the city of Olbia.
Last week, in horrifying scenes a huge luxury yacht was filmed bursting into flames off the coast of Italian island Sardinia before sinking into the depths of the ocean.
The Italian Coast Guard filmed the dramatic demise of the superyacht in the early hours of the morning.