Vietnam nabs smuggled elephant tusks from Tanzania

A Vietnamese customs official says 661 pounds (300 kilograms) of smuggled African elephant tusks have been intercepted at a northern port city.

Vu Hoang Duong, head of the customs division at Hai Phong's port, said Friday that the tusks from Tanzania were discovered in a container that had been declared as a rubber shipment. The tusks were in iron boxes hidden beneath scrap metal.

The shipment arrived in April, but officials only discovered the tusks on Thursday. It was addressed to a company in the northern province of Quang Ninh. The company denied knowing the tusks were in the shipment.

Vietnam is a haven for illegal animal products, including African elephant tusks and rhino horns, which fetch high prices for their perceived medicinal benefits.