There’s sand everywhere – heck, there are whole deserts filled with sand – but in reality, the world is actually running out of construction grade sand.
As sand becomes a scarce resource, there’s a rise in criminal enterprises that traffic in sand. Call them, the Sand Mafias:
“Sand mafias” are groups of criminals that illegally dredge sand from areas where extraction is prohibited. Since they’re not following laws, all environmental protocols are ignored. Often rivers are illegally mined, destroying the habitat for fish and fishermen. Sometimes land from private villages is even taken over by these mafias.
And like their Sicilian namesakes, Sand Mafias regularly resort to violence, and even murder:
This problem is particularly rampant in India. A number of murders have allegedly been committed by these sand mafias to keep journalists and agitators quiet. In a recent murder, journalist Sandeep Sharma was run over by a truck after he secretly filmed a police official agreeing to a bribe in exchange for allowing sand mining in a crocodile sanctuary. According to the editor of the local television channel where Sharma worked, he was denied police protection after receiving threats. The editor also told the Guardian that police confiscated Sharma’s camera with footage of the bribe agreement and never gave it back.
Read the rest over at this intriguing article by Erik Brown over at Medium