The Mayday Rescue Foundation was registered in the Netherlands in 2014 as a not-for-profit entity by James Le Mesurier, a former British Army officer. Since its inception, Mayday has provided support to the Syria Civil Defence, commonly known as the White Helmets, a controversial group acting under the guise of a “humanitarian” organisation in the jihadist-held areas of Syria.
According to The Grayzone, Western governments, including Britain, Germany, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands, funnelled a total €100 million ($121 million) in taxpayer money to Mayday to fund the White Helmets. Judging from the White Helmets’ official website this funding was intended to go “towards the training, equipment, and support” to the Syrian group. However, serious concerns over potential financial mismanagement prompted the Netherlands to stop funding Mayday by the end of 2018, the newspaper de Volkskrant noted.
The first audit of the entity was requested by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) in late 2018. Ending in June 2019, it cited no serious issues but recommended “introducing more stringent accounting controls and tighter governance”, according to The Guardian.
The problems came to light in November 2019, when Dutch firm SMK Audit, visited Mayday’s office in Istanbul and uncovered forged receipts and inconsistencies in documentation. According to de Volkskrant, the entity’s bookkeeping was seriously inadequate, with payments being untraceable….