Former Newcastle winger Sylvain Marveaux is one of four people arrested in a tax fraud investigation by Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
French authorities said secret payments made to players and agents during deals between French and Premier League clubs are the focus of the probe.
The 31 year old joined Newcastle from Rennes in 2011 and made 39 appearances.
He returned to France to join Lorient last year.
"The British authorities suspect secret payments may have been made to benefit certain players, their agents or third parties, allowing them to avoid paying tax on the income, or making social security payments," said a statement from the French Prosecutor's office.