Officials in the city of Newark in the United States were thrilled to partner with the Hindu nation of Kailasa – until they found out that it doesn’t exist.
The city, the largest in the state of New Jersey, hosted delegates from the fake “country” at a formal gathering in January.
During the signing ceremony, Newark mayor Ras Baraka told the “delegates”: “I pray that our relationship helps us to understand cultural, social, and political development and improves the lives of everybody in both places.”
The sister city programme was established after World War II to promote cultural and commercial ties between municipalities around the world.
It took days for the city to discover that the whole thing was fake, led by notorious Indian scam artist Swami Nithyananda.
An embarrassed city spokesperson said: “Although this was a regrettable incident, the city of Newark remains committed to partnering with people from diverse cultures in order to enrich each other with connectivity, support and mutual respect.”
But next time, maybe do a Google search first.
Pictured above: Newark city officials at signing ceremony with delegates from “Kailasa”