Spanish authorities had issued a European Arrest Warrant for the 55-year-old, who is now in custody pending interview by immigration enforcement investigators.
The man, who is a UK passport holder and has not been named, was arrested at the marina shortly before 10pm on Monday, May 23, on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
The 17 Albanian men are being held on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.
Officers from Hampshire tipped off colleagues in Sussex, who arrived at the marina and were waiting to intercept the vessel on Monday night.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “The arrests were made by Sussex Police after Hampshire Police alerted us about the yacht arriving at the Marina.
“The case is now being investigated by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement.”
The Albanians have been detained pending Home Office consideration of their cases.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The security of our border is paramount.
“We work with our partners to detect and deter people who attempt to reach the UK illegally, while targeting the criminal gangs behind illegal entry attempts.”
Chichester Marina is a locked facility with more than 1,000 berths.
The discovery comes a month after the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed that migrants trying to reach the UK are paying smuggling gangs up to £13,500 for their journey.
Some of those intent on coming to Britain are quoted five-figure sums to make the trip by air, while others are believed to have spent as much as £12,000 to travel from France in inflatable boats.
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