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Paraguay official resigns after signing agreement with fictional country

A biker rides past Paraguay's government presidential palace "Casa de Lopez" in Asuncion, Paraguay, May 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz) A biker rides past Paraguay's government presidential palace "Casa de Lopez" in Asuncion, Paraguay, May 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -

A Paraguayan government official was replaced after it was revealed that he signed a memorandum of understanding with representatives of a fugitive Indian guru's fictional country, who also appear to have duped several local officials in the South American country.

The revelation sparked a scandal -- and lots of social media mockery -- in Paraguay but it's hardly the first time self-described representatives of the United States of Kailasa duped international leaders. Earlier this year, they managed to participate in a United Nations committee meeting in Geneva and also signed agreements with local leaders in the United States and Canada.

Arnaldo Chamorro was replaced as chief of staff for Paraguay's Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday shortly after it was revealed that he signed a "proclamation" with representatives of the United States of Kailasa.

Among other things, the Oct. 16 "proclamation" expressed a "sincere wish and recommendation for the government of Paraguay to consider, explore and actively seek the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States of Kailasa and support the admission of the United States of Kailasa as a sovereign and independent state in various international organizations, including, among others, the United Nations," according to a copy of the agreement posted on social media.

Representatives of the fictional country met with Chamorro and Agriculture Minister Carlos Gimenez, Chamorro said in a radio interview.

During the interview, Chamorro recognized he didn't know where Kailasa was located and said he signed what he characterized as a "memorandum of understanding" because they offered to help Paraguay with a variety of issues, including irrigation.

Photos posted in Kailasa's social media accounts also showed representatives of the fictional country signing agreements with local leaders of the Maria Antonia and Karpai municipalities. The social media account celebrated each of these signings.

On Kailasa's website, the fictional country is described as the "revival of the ancient enlightened Hindu civilizational nation which is being revived by displaced Hindus from around the world." It is led by a self-styled guru, Nithyananda, who is wanted in India on several charges, including sexual assault. His whereabouts are unknown.

Representatives of the United States of Kailasa participated in two UN committee meetings in Geneva in February, according to media reports.

In March, Newark City Hall in New Jersey acknowledged it had gotten scammed when it signed a sister city agreement with Kailasa.

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