A MAN has been arrested and an investigation opened after eight illegal migrants were discovered on a yacht.

The vessel, a 46-foot motor cruiser, has been escorted into Portsmouth after it was intercepted by the Border Force cutter Seeker and a coastguard helicopter yesterday evening (6 November).

Eight Albanian nationals were found on board and their cases will now be dealt with in line with UK immigration rules by Immigration Enforcement.

The skipper of the yacht, a 64-year-old British national, has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to facilitate a breach of immigration laws and is now being questioned by investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The boat is being forensically examined at Portsmouth naval base.

NCA operations manager Martin Matthews said: “The NCA works closely with our law enforcement partners to protect our borders, and targeting and disrupting criminal groups involved in people smuggling is one of our highest priorities.

“This particular incident is now the subject of a criminal investigation, and I’m grateful for the assistance of Border Force, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Ministry of Defence in that.”