Newark accidentally enters into ‘sister city’ deal with fake city
The city of Newark recently signed a deal to work with a “sister city” overseas.
Mayor Ras Baraka signed the deal in January to work with the United States of Kailasa. The purpose of the deal was to establish an international relationship that would help both territories and their people.
But there was just one problem – the United States of Kailasa does not exist.
Newark officials apparently thought they were getting involved in a cultural and trade deal with one of India’s emerging independent Hindu nations. But in reality, Kailasa is fake.
“I think that’s embarrassing. He didn’t do his background research before entertaining that,” says Newark resident D.J. Simon.
A spokesperson for the Newark mayor’s office tells News 12 that as soon as they learned of the circumstances, they immediately took action to cancel the sister city agreement. It was almost a week later when they discovered everything was a lie.
The made-up country has a website that shows its flag and talks about its mission and values. There are even pictures of the day that the deal was signed in Newark.
The deal has been voided, but the main question that remains is how easy is it to fake a country and sign a deal with a major city within the United States.
“If you don’t do your due diligence, anybody can get scammed,” Simon says.
Newark officials say that they remain committed to partnering with people from different cultures to enrich each other with connection, support, and mutual respect.