The barrels belong to a company based in the city and were said to contain asphalt on the customs declaration.
The illegal shipment was being unloaded at Cat Lai Port in District 2 when customs officers noticed some irregularities.
On inspection, officers found hundreds of pieces of ivory carefully hidden under a thick layer of sawdust that was covered in plaster in 14 of the barrels.
Le Nguyen Linh, deputy head of the customs department at Cat Lai Port, said this is the first time the department has discovered smuggled ivory in barrels of asphalt, calling it “a new trick”.
Police are working on the case.