WSRW has received photos of the vessel 'Trio Vega' loading sand in the harbour of El Aaiun, the capital of occupied Western Sahara.
The Trio Vega, a Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel with a capacity of around 1,800 tonnes, has been shuttling between Las Palmas and El Aaiun for the past 10 days. In its hold, the vessel is carrying sand from the parts of Western Sahara that have been occupied by Morocco since 1975. The people of Western Sahara have not consented to the taking of the sand, making the practice in violation of international law.
The Trio Vega has a track record in transporting sand from the occupied territories to the port of Las Palmas; it has made several deliveries earlier this year and has been known to commute between to the two harbours for years.
The photos below show the Trio Vega loading up in the harbour of El Aaiun on 24 August 2013, shortly before the vessel set sail for Las Palmas again. There, the sand is likely to be stored in the silos of Granintra S.A. - a cement factory located on the harbour premises - for subsequent usage on location or shipment to project sites.
For many years now, sand from occupied Western Sahara has been a much desired material in the Canary Islands, where it is mainly used to enhance the tourist beaches or for the construction industry.
The Trio Vega is expected to arrive back in El Aaiun later today, with an empty hold waiting to be filled.
The construction work on the controversial beach of Mogán in Gran Canary started 2 December.
The bay of Mogán at Gran Canary Island will next week be covered in conflict sand from occupied Western Sahara.