Michael Jackson memorabilia allegedly purchased with dirty money will pay for COVID care in Equatorial Guinea

Assets include a pair of $275,000 jewel-encrusted gloves belonging to the late singer

Money from Michael Jackson memorabilia seized from the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea is set to help pay for COVID-19 vaccines in the African country.

Around $27million (£19.6million) of assets were confiscated from Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue including luxury vehicles and a pair of $275,000 (£200,429) jewel-encrusted gloves belonging to Jackson, according to the US Department of Justice.

The money comes from a civil forfeiture settlement dating back to 2014 between the US and Mangue after he was accused of purchasing items in the United States with money obtained through corruption. Mangue has disputed the claims.


As a result the United Nations will receive $19.25million (£14million) to buy and distribute vaccines in the Central African country, while $6.35million (£4.6million) will be handed over to a US-based charity “for the purchase and distribution of medicines and medical supplies throughout Equatorial Guinea,” the justice department added.

The DOJ’s statement also said that Mangue “was required to sell a Malibu, California, mansion that he purchased for $30million (£21.8million), a Ferrari automobile and various items of Michael Jackson memorabilia, and to contribute $1million (£730,000) representing the value of other property.”

Michael Jackson. CREDIT: Jean-Marc Giboux/Liaison

In July, a French appeal court also upheld a guilty verdict against Mangue for embezzlement, a judgment that could potentially pave the way for the return of millions of dollars to Equatorial Guinea, according to CNN.

He was earlier convicted in France and given a suspended three-year sentence, including a $35million (£25.5million) fine for purchasing luxury properties with illegal funds. His luxury assets were also confiscated.

The verdict by the French court came days after Britain announced it had imposed sanctions on Mangue for misappropriating millions of dollars including asset freezes and a travel ban.


Meanwhile, Jackson’s siblings recently revealed they are trying to record new music featuring unreleased work from the late singer.