FOUR people have been arrested ­— including a man from the Isle of Wight ­— as part of an investigation into an attempt to smuggle migrants into the UK.

After three individuals were arrested in Cherbourg, France, UK officers moved in to arrest a 43-year-old man on the Isle of Wight on suspicion of conspiracy to facilitate illegal immigration and money laundering.

He has been released on bail.

Two British men and one Albanian national had been arrested on a fishing vessel in Cherbourg as they prepared to leave the port in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The boat had left the Isle of Wight for France on Friday, at around 2am.

The operation involved South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), as well as National Crime Agency, Border Force and the French authorities.

Five migrants, believed to be Albanian, were also found on board.

The three arrested in France remain in French custody.

Detective inspector Clair Trueman, of SEROCU said: “We have worked closely with our counterparts in France and wider UK law enforcement partners in order to stop those who attempt to facilitate illegal immigration.

"In this particular case the intention of the organised crime group was to transport a group of illegal migrants into the UK on a small boat.

"These criminals exploit vulnerable people in communities in order to make money without any considerations for their welfare."