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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A gang stealing Sand worth SR 286 million a month caught in Dammam

Natural resources are not only essential for economic growth and development but are very vital for the survival of all types of species especially human beings. However, natural resources are limited. There are renewable and non-renewable natural resources but renewable resources can grow according to earth’s capacity. There is a need to preserve our non-renewable natural resources because once gone, they won’t grow again. Once a natural resource is extinct, it will be very difficult to find its perfect substitute and would impose a threat to the survival of human beings. Environmental experts are of the view that excessive use of natural resource impose dangerous impacts on ecosystem and hinders it to function properly.



In order to ensure that natural resource is not being used excessively, the State is given its possession. The State then charges a price for its use, which enables to limit its use. The State is responsible for safeguarding the natural resources: make sure there is no stealing and smuggling. Saudi Arabia is a country rich in natural resources: it has largest natural resource deposits in the Middle East. The land is blessed with petroleum reserves, most importantly oil and gas.  The mineral resources such as copper, zinc, and iron are in plenty. It has been estimated that there are 600 sites around the Kingdom full of gold deposits. Surely it is a blessed country! Nonetheless, there is a lack of protection of our natural resources.



The soft sand of Dammam is being excessively extracted without any charge. It was only when municipal and the admissible authorities got alerted and caught about 238 trucks stealing the soft sand from various areas outside urban localities. According to Faris Al-Oraij, head of Dammam Municipal Office, 45 field inspections were conducted. The trucks have been seized and fined heavily.  The officer claims that a fine of SR714,000 has been imposed upon them. The sand has been stolen by Saudi gangs who have hired foreign workers. These groups are responsible for creating a black market for sand and earn a lavish amount of money every month. Stealing sand from State and selling at a price higher than the market price: these people are able to create a lot of money.


There are locations in Saudi Arabia where sand is free of cost, but these mafias tend to steal the State-owned sand and earn as much as 2000 Saudi riyals per day from a single truck. Faris Al-Oraij stressed that the suppression against such gangs will continue until there is a complete wipeout of such unlawful activities. As this natural resource has economic and environmental importance.  Authorities have also reported issues of the permit.


Companies and organizations are not using transport permits for sand. They are reluctant to do so as it enables them to generate large amounts of profit. There are also mafias responsible for stealing and smuggling other natural resources from our country. We need to have a complete crackdown operation against them in order to have sustainable economic growth and retain an environment suitable for the population to grow. Allah Almighty has bestowed plenty natural resources upon our State. But it is our duty to protect them and use them wisely. 

Source: Saudi Gazette

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