A senior Paraguayan official was fired this week after signing a cooperation memorandum with a country he has since learned does not exist.
Arnaldo Chamorro told reporters Thursday he was dismissed from his job as chief of staff to the agriculture minister after signing the document with purported officials from the "United States of Kailasa" -- presented to him as a South American island.
"They (the "officials") came and expressed a wish to help Paraguay. They presented several projects, we listened to them and that was that," he said, admitting to having been fooled.
He was dismissed on Wednesday.
Chamorro said the fake officials also met his minister Carlos Gimenez.
Their motive was not known.
The memorandum signed by the two parties had envisaged the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two "countries."
In the document, complete with the ministry's letterhead and official seal, Chamorro salutes "the honorable Nithyananda Paramashivam, sovereign of the United States of Kailasa" and praises his "contributions to Hinduism, humanity and the Republic of Paraguay."
The memorandum further recommends that the "government of Paraguay actively explore the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United States of Kailasa and supports its admission as a sovereign state to various international organizations, including the United Nations."
Paraguayan media reported that "Paramashivam" was in reality an Indian citizen wanted for crimes committed in his country.
The agriculture ministry in a statement lamented "procedural errors" committed and said the memorandum "cannot be considered official" nor confer any obligations on the state of Paraguay. (AFP)