Truck laden with beach sand. Photo source: © SAF – Coastal Care
L’extraction illégale de sable de mer prend des proportions inquiétantes sur le littoral Est de la ville de Jijel, qui s’étend sur une dizaine de kilomètres jusqu’à l’embouchure de l’oued Djendjen dans la commune de Taher…
Si auparavant le problème se résumait juste à l’extraction illégale de sable, avec le temps, il s’avère être un réseau bien organisé qui arrive à chaque fois à échapper aux mailles des services de sécurité…
Illegal beach sand mining is reaching alarming levels along the 10 kilometers shoreline from the East of Jijel city to Oued Djendjen area, northeastern Algeria.
Each and every day, at sunset, unabated sand stealers are afraid of nothing behind their trucks wheel, as they are just determined to keep on perpetrating their environmental crime. Once limited to unorganized illegal beach sand mining activities, now the sand miners operate in well-organized fashion, managing to escape from the police and security guards.
Ten days ago, two people reported being attacked by a sand loaded truck as they were driving in the middle of the night. Several witnesses at the scene corroborated that these sand laden trucks are not only driven on the wrong side of the road all lights off at night, but their drivers do not hesitate to purposely “punch” head on any car happening to be in their way and slowing down their pursuit. Even us (the journalists reporting) have witnessed such occurrence, and do feel lucky to still be alive today.
This criminal activity ought to be ceased by the authorities to ensure safe traffic on this road and also to halt the ongoing and accelerating coastal erosion, before the waves do crash on the highway.
According to insiders, the sand mafia is a profitable and very well organized venture. In this case, a crew of old Saviem brand trucks is managed by a single person who plans and dispatches each individual routes and missions according to information gathered from the security services.
Obviously these trucks, worth between 100,000 and 150,000 DA, are non registered and without any mandatory documentation. This explains why the drivers can so easily and so systematically fly away from any crime scene, unafraid and remorseless.