Stolen sand scandal shuts beach at Gran Caribe Real Hotel

“Ill-gotten, illegally accumulated” sand is at the center of a beachfront battle at a Mexico resort.

In what must be the silliest bust ever, Mexico’s environmental protection attorney general told the AP:

“Today we made the decision to close this stretch of ill-gotten, illegally accumulated sand,” said Patricio Patron, Mexico’s attorney general for environmental protection. “This hotel was telling its tourists: ‘Come here, I have sand … the other hotels don’t, because I stole it.'”

Bolding mine because HA HA HA! Can you just imagine busting that one out at a news conference? Officials believe Cancun’s sandiest hotel illegally circumvented the flow of sand onto the beaches of neighboring hotels via something called a breakwater. Following Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Mexico spent $19m on restoring Cancun’s sandyness but much of that sand has since washed away, and apparently hotels are so sand-starved they feel the need to snatch the crevice-invading substance from their neighbors.

The bust wasn’t a total success though- guests of the Gran Caribe Real Hotel are none too pleased with the closing of the hotel’s beach by armed navy personnel. One tourist from Uruguay told the AP:

“They promised us a beach. This is very unpleasant, we feel bad. This is intimidating.”

But Mexican officials regretfully stuck to the closures, citing a commitment to upholding the law. Burn.