They said Onana, president of the Cameroon Soccer Federation, was stopped by police from travelling to France on Wednesday night for the World Cup finals starting on June 10.
Sports Minister Joseph Owona confirmed Onana was under investigation but did not comment on the police action on Wednesday.
“A judicial investigation has been opened against Vincent Onana,” the minister told state television on Thursday night at the end of a cabinet meeting.
Soccer-mad Cameroon has been rocked by a British television report that some 3,000 tickets meant for Cameroonian fans had been diverted for sale in Europe.
Fans intending to travel to France to support the Indomitable Lions say they are unable to get tickets meant for them.
Cameroon have been drawn in group B with Austria, Chile and Italy.
In a television interview in Yaounde on Sunday Onana denied his federation was to blame for the shortage of tickets in Cameroon and implicitly accused the government of failing to finance their purchase.
Sports Minister Owona reacted with a statement on Monday in which he denounced Onana’s argument as “a simple fabrication”.
“The government and the minister of sports deny any responsibility in the illegal sale of tickets and calls on the organisations concerned to explain this affair,” he said.
Sources at the immigration police confirmed that Onana had been stopped from flying to France on Wednesday because of the tickets probe, although they said his passport had not been impounded.
But close associates of the soccer boss maintained he had put off his trip for what one called “administrative reasons” and would fly out on Friday.
The official Cameroon delegation, including the sports minister, was scheduled to travel to France later on Friday.