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Strange Crime: Sand Mafias


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From the February 2024 issue of Scientific American: The world uses enormous quantities of sand, construction to silicon chips. This makes illegal sand mining one of the biggest rackets in the world, far exceeding other forms of illegal mining. Since this is Scientific American, much of the concern is about the resulting environmental damage -- but the big money in sand mining can corrupt governments at every level and fund other unsavory activities. Googling "sand mafia" turns up many other articles for further research.


Illegal sand mining might be difficult to work into the usual urban vigilante Dark Champions game, but you might fit it into an international espionage game. Imagine a James Bond-style mastermind who uses sand mining to fund his terrorist scheme, coup plot or diabolical weapon. The death trap for captured agents should be obvious.




Dean Shomshak

Edited by DShomshak
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  • DShomshak changed the title to Strange Crime: Sand Mafias

I had heard of this, but my idea of the problem was off by an order of magnitude. I had thought that the major issue was special grades of sand for computer chips. Knowing that it's for construction, make the problem much more serious. And it's insidiously mundane, who pays attention to sand trucks? And I can easily see a Bond movie based around this. They didn't really play up the water plot in Quantum of Solace.

Edited by Grailknight
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You can add to this growing list of beach killers - salt.


As there is more life (especially human), the need for salt will grow.  Unfortunately, the beach is the easiest place to obtain this scarce resource. To make things worse,  humanity has a POOR history when it comes to how we obtain anything that we desire. If the environment is destroyed in the process, who cares? We can always get more. Reality proves otherwise,  but when has humanity paid attention?

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