SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Police Department has returned several clay artifacts to Mexico after seizing them last year.

The department said it was tipped off in November 2017 that the hollow clay figurines were being sold at an estate sale. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History verified they were genuine historical artifacts called Nayarit Figures, some of them dating to before Spanish settlement.

The police department returned the items during a ceremony at the Mexican consulate in Seattle on Tuesday.

Police Chief Carmen Best said the department's Major Crimes Task Force worked over the past year with U.S. and international law enforcement officials, as well as the State Department and the Mexican consulate, to ensure the return of the figurines.

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