Previously, he wrote on Twitter that he had been “unfairly detained”.
“The reason, a bag of money with $ 18,000, which is not mine. Now in the presence of the prosecutor, ”Zelaya wrote. He said he was arrested at immigration control at Toncontin Airport after a search of his carry-on baggage.
A spokesman for the Honduran prosecutor’s office said Zelaya was “not detained”.
“What happens is what the law says, that is to say document [what happened] and once that is finished and signed by former president Zelaya, where he declares that the money does not belong to him, he can easily go, ”spokesman Yuri Mora told Reuters news agency.
Zelaya, who ruled Honduras from 2006 to 2009 and was an ally of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, was deposed by the military in a June 2009 coup as he prepared to stage a referendum on the presidential re-election, which, according to his opponents, was a ploy to stay in power.
He remained active in politics as the leader of the left-wing Partido Libertad y Refundacion (Freedom and Refoundation Party) and his wife ran for the presidential elections in 2013.
The former president told local media he plans to make a stopover in Houston, Texas before heading to his final destination, Mexico, where he is scheduled to give a talk on Saturday.
Laws aimed at controlling trafficking and money laundering allow a maximum of $ 10,000 to be exited from the country, which must be declared to the authorities.