Most people think of a major theft in terms of gems or artwork. Natural resources are just as priceless, as evidenced by the theft of an entire Jamaican white sand beach in 2008. Even though the theft made international headlines, many people are still unaware of the event and the threat to countries everywhere.
1- The heist occurred on July 20, 2008. Thieves arrived in the dark of night, excavating hundreds of tons of sand from a remote Jamaican beach.
2- The white sand was worth approximately $1 million on the black market.
3- An estimated 500 dump truck loads of sand was removed.
4- The beach was the site of a planned resort in Trelawny.
5- There’s a thriving black market for white sand. It’s used in bunkers on golf courses, mortar and cement for swimming pools, and in the production of a variety of products that includes phone screens.
6- Sand is a limited resource and commercially viable sand is in short supply.
7- Sand is being stolen and smuggled around the globe. It’s so valuable, people are willing to die to obtain it.
8 -Tracking the sand theft and bringing the thieves or recipients to justice is an incredibly difficult feat. Even if authorities are able to make an arrest, recovering the sand is virtually impossible.
9- No arrests were made in the Jamaican theft and suspicions still remain that law enforcement and other resorts may have been involved.
10- Jamaica isn’t the only country to fall victim to sand thieves. Sand thefts have been recorded worldwide.
11-Sand is the second most exploited natural resource in the world. The lack of supply has resulted in countries dredging ocean bottoms to obtain it, resulting in destroyed aquatic ecosystems.
12 – The Jamaican sand theft highlighted the importance of the world’s reliance on natural resources, their dwindling supply, and the need to protect them.
13 – The Jamaican beach sand theft is a warning to countries around the globe. It’s not just sand that’s being stolen. It involves everything from sand, tillable soil and rare earth minerals to forests, water and wildlife.
Photo – Deposit Photos and Andy ngucaj on Unsplash