A refugee rescue group has accused the EU's border control agency Frontex of plotting against aid organisations to deter donors.
Spanish group Proactiva Open Arms has been rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean since 2016, according to The Local.
Last year Frontex claimed that some rescue boats funded by donors may have colluded with traffickers. This prompted an informal investigation on private rescue groups' funding sources.
A report in the Financial Times claimed Frontex said traffickers were purposefully putting migrants at sea so that private ships could bring them to Italy "like taxis."
Proactiva Open Arms head Riccardo Gatti has now said: "The declarations by Frontex and political authorities are intended to discredit our actions and erode our donors' trust.
"We feel there's someone who wants to put a spoke in our wheels, though we do not really know who is behind it."
The organisation added that it had nothing to hide and the director of Proactiva Open Arms said "We have 35,000 donors. Some are well known, like Pep Guardiola, the current manager of Manchester City, others are anonymous."