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Cancun hotel accused of stealing sand

(Hotels, Mexico) Permanent link

There were a lot of ticked-off beach-goers at the Gran Caribe Real Hotel in Cancun on Thursday.

Environmental enforcement officers and Mexican navy sailors closed the beach and treated it as a crime scene, because some of the sand was allegedly stolen by the hotel, according to the Associated Press.

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

Patron told the AP that five people were detained in a raid for allegedly using pumps to move sand from the sea floor onto the beach in front of the Gran Caribe Real Hotel.

The hotel is also suspected of illegally building a breakwater that impeded the natural flow of sand onto other hotels' beaches, Patron said.

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