Spanish police say they seized 74 illegally hunted African elephant tusks worth an estimated $222,000 and arrested a man who was trying to legalize possession of them so they could be sold.

A Civil Guard statement Thursday said the discovery came after officials of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Spain warned of a possible fraudulent application for papers demonstrating ownership of the tusks of 37 elephants as part of an alleged inheritance.

Investigations showed the detainee, a Spaniard, had been granted a permit in 1970 by Mozambican authorities to hunt one elephant, not 37 as was sought on the application.

The tusks, weighing about 1,650 pounds, were found last month in a house in the town of Colmenar de Oreja, outside Madrid.