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Singapore accused of land grab as islands disappear by boatload

Excerpts from The Times

Indonesia has banned the export of sand and imposed strict controls on shipments of gravel, after fears that its islands were being loaded on to ships and carried away to Singapore. In its thirst for building materials and landfill to reclaim new territory from the sea, Indonesians allege, Singapore has been stealing the land beneath their feet.

Since
Indonesia announced its ban on sand in February, the price of a cubic metre of it has increased more than seven times, from S$6.5 (£2.18) to S$50. The Indonesian Navy has mobilised 18 ships to intercept gravel pirates and sand bandits.

“Some of these islands are reduced to islets, and could even disappear below the surface,” Hendropriyono, Indonesia’s former intelligence chief, has said. “This could theoretically lead to a cartographic zero-sum game in which Singapore’s gain could be at Indonesia’s territorial loss.”

Read the full article in The Times.

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