7.5 tons of ivory, pangolin scales seized in Vietnam

PHOTO: Elephants are pictured at Chobe National Park in Botswana, Feb. 16, 2015.Play Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images, FILE
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About 7.5 tons of elephant ivory and pangolin scales have been seized by Vietnamese police.

In one of the nation's largest animal-trafficking cases, authorities recovered 3.5 tons of ivory and 4 tons of pangolin scales, according to The Associated Press, which cited Vietnam News Agency.

PHOTO: Elephants are pictured at Chobe National Park in Botswana, Feb. 16, 2015. Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images, FILE
Elephants are pictured at Chobe National Park in Botswana, Feb. 16, 2015.

The contraband was discovered in a shipping container that arrived at Hai Phong port in northern Vietnam.

The animal remnants had been stuffed inside steel barrels mixed with others containing tar in an attempt to hide them from customs agents.

A criminal investigation was launched Friday, the AP reported.

Poaching and trafficking parts of elephants and pangolins can carry a penalty of up to five years in jail in Vietnam.