The Guardia Civil has received orders from the Ministry of Interior to prevent the passage of lorries carrying sand to Gibraltar, the sand having been purchased from Spain for the purpose of replenishment of the Sandy Bay beach and the reclaiming an area of sea in order to build a housing complex and marina.
The ban, which came into effect on Tuesday, came after a complaint made by environmentalists against the city of Tarifa, Cádiz province. The public prosecutor has now opened an investigation into claims of aggravated theft and falsification of documents relating to the sale of the sand by Tarifa Council. The sand came from the beach at Valdevaqueros.
The Gibraltar government has confirmed the purchase of 10,000 tons of sand but was not aware that it had been taken from the beach at Valdevaqueros. Tarifa Council has made no comment on the allegations.
The Spanish Government has already issued a verbal protest against plans to build a pier on the eastern side of the Rock as well as two breakwaters to reclaim land for the purpose of construction.