Arnold Schwarzenegger Ends Up Detained at Airport Over Watch

Arnold Schwarzenegger Detained at Airport

( – Arnold Schwarzenegger is no stranger to the news as a high-profile actor and politician, but his run-in with officials at the Munich Airport recently made headlines. Reports say authorities held the “Terminator” for three hours. A luxury watch spurred the incident.

Schwarzenegger landed in Munich from Los Angeles around 1:45 p.m. on January 17, on his way to the World Climate Summit, held in Kitzbühel, Austria. Customs officials recognized him and stopped him for a suspicion-free check. They asked him to open his luggage for inspection. During their search, they found a Swiss Audemars Piguet luxury watch, which the actor said is worth around 20,000 Euros.

Because Schwarzenegger didn’t declare the watch as an import, German authorities slapped him with a hefty fine. He insisted that he’d brought the jewelry piece to donate to a charity auction, but they wouldn’t accept his explanation and insisted that he owed tax on it, a sum of 35,000 Euros, more than the declared value of the watch. Making matters worse, he was fully prepared to pay the sum using his credit card, but customs officials demanded that he pay at least half in cash.

Thus began the trouble of finding an automated teller machine (ATM) that would allow the former California governor to withdraw that much — in Euros — in what sounds like it should be the plot of a comedy movie starring the actor. According to the German publication Bild, an airport employee finally accompanied Schwarzenegger to a bank so he could withdraw the money. However, the bank had closed. Officials next had to bring in a credit card machine to the airport. The entire ordeal took around three hours.

The Munich Main Customs Office revealed that officials initiated criminal proceedings over Schwarzenegger’s failure to disclose the watch. According to The Washington Post, the actor’s spokesman, Daniel Ketchell, said, “lawyers are dealing with it” and that they didn’t anticipate additional consequences “because Arnold always pays his taxes.”

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