A Qawra Point beach furniture operator has been forced to shut and will be fined €5,000 for setting up deck chairs and umbrellas at Ta' Fra Ben this morning, defying authorities less than 24 hours after they clamped down on the business.

In a statement, the Malta Tourism Authority said its inspectors, working in tandem with Lands Department officials, had counted 70 deck chairs in use when they visited the area this morning. 

Officials from those two entities had confiscated two truckloads of deck chairs and umbrellas at the very same site just yesterday. 

READ: Deck chairs back at Qawra less than 24 hours after they were removed

Times of Malta highlighted the operator's seeming disregard for the rules this morning, after a reader sent in a photo of deck chairs laid out across the bay as early as 8am today. 

In its statement, the MTA said that the operator had "continued with the provision of illegal deckchairs " and would now be fined €5,000 "excluding operational costs."

"The authorities will also be enforcing closure with immediate effect," the MTA added. 

Authorities began their crackdown last week, with inspectors confiscating five truckloads of beach furniture at Armier and Little Armier bays. 

The MTA has different arrangements in place with operators renting out beach furniture, with arrangements varying from beach to beach. 

Operators in Għadira Bay, the MTA clarified this morning, have 15-year agreements to place deck chairs and umbrellas within designated parameters. 

The MTA said its crackdown on illegally placed beach furniture was bearing fruit, with operators in other locations "voluntarily taking action in order to regularise their position." 

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