Headquarters of the United Nations. Photo: VCG

A gang of con artists went to elaborate lengths to dupe investors into believing the UN’s headquarters will soon be moving to Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

A local resident, surnamed Deng, heard about the relocation project and went to the con artists’ grand offices. They told her their company was in charge of relocating the UN’s office and had 9.9 billion yuan ($1.40 billion) in registered capital. She was convinced the plan was real and invested more than 30,000 yuan.

Deng told her son to invest 20,000 yuan, but he wasn’t so gullible. He saw straight through the con and called police, a report by The Paper based in Shanghai said.

The police determined the company’s documents were forgeries and arrested 38 members of the gang, 27 of whom remained in custody. To attract potential investors, the con artists spread rumors of the UN’s pending move to Xi’an on the internet, forged documents from foreign banks along with authentic-looking UN documents showing detailed plans for the move.

Along with Deng, police say the gang cheated 29 investors and swindled more than 2 million yuan.