A SHIP carrying 35,000 tonnes of Sahara Desert sand has been given permission to unload its cargo in Mallorca.
The Southwester sailed into controversy after environmentalists claimed it was carrying ‘illegal’ sand to be used on golf courses.
The EU prohibits the illegal use of Saharan natural resources, with the Southwester docked in the bay of Palma since Monday.
But on Wednesday, the Southwester’s operators Lantimar confirmed the vessel had been granted permission by the Guardia Civil to unload the sand in Palma.
Environment minister Vincenc Vidal called on the government to ‘take measures’ to block the ship’s ‘illegal cargo’.
Campaign group the Friends of the Saharan People filed a denuncia, claiming the cargo ‘violates international law’.
A spokesperson for the ship’s operator told Diario Mallorca they were ‘surprised’ by the controversy.