French Polynesia's pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru is being held by police and being questioned over the alleged abuse of public funds.
He and two others, Heinui Lecaill and Vito Maamaatuaiahutapu, are alleged to have misspent money of the association running a local radio station Radio Tefana.
The accusations stem from a public accounts audit of 2009.
No charges have been laid yet.
Last month, Mr Temaru lost his assembly seat over campaign account irregularities.