Sand smuggling in Southeast Asia

Sand smuggling is a cross-border environmental crime which describes the illegal transportation of often illegally extracted natural sand and gravel. While sand smuggling and illegal mining are global concerns, they are especially acute in Asia, where continuing urbanization and the region’s large construction boom are driving the increasing demand for sand. The negative consequences of excessive sand mining and smuggling, which are strongly connected, reach from environmental degradation to geopolitical tension.


Sand smuggling is a cross-border environmental crime which describes the illegal transportation of often illegally extracted natural sand and gravel. While sand smuggling and illegal mining are global concerns, they are especially acute in Asia, where continuing urbanization and the region’s large construction boom are driving the increasing demand for sand. The negative consequences of excessive sand mining and smuggling, which are strongly connected, reach from environmental degradation to geopolitical tension.
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