In a surprising turn of events, movie star and former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, found himself in a predicament at Munich Airport, drawing attention from international media. According to multiple reports, Schwarzenegger, 76, was detained for several hours due to issues surrounding an unregistered luxury watch.
The incident unfolded as Schwarzenegger was en route to the World Climate Summit in Kitzbühel. He was carrying a special timepiece, intended for a charity auction at a dinner on Thursday night. This watch wasn’t just any accessory; it was a luxury piece from Swiss manufacturer Audemars Piguet, reportedly worth 20,000 euros (approximately $21,700). Designed specifically for Schwarzenegger’s private collection, its discovery during a routine bag check at the airport sparked a significant customs issue.
According to the German newspaper BILD, the encounter with customs agents was initially standard procedure – a “suspicion-free” bag check. However, it escalated when the luxury watch came into the picture. Thomas Meister, spokesperson for the Munich Main Customs Office, informed the newspaper that the watch should have been registered as an import. Consequently, criminal proceedings under tax law have been initiated.
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Schwarzenegger’s response to the situation was one of frustration and bewilderment. He told BILD, “This is the problem that Germany is suffering from. You can no longer see the forest for the trees.” Despite explaining to officials that the watch was earmarked for auction, he was still fined 35,000 euros (roughly $38,000), with half of this amount required in cash.
The saga continued as sources told TMZ that Schwarzenegger was detained for three hours. In a somewhat cinematic twist, he had to visit a nearby bank to withdraw cash for the fine. In an instance of logistical improvisation, when the ATM failed to dispense the required amount, an airport officer brought in a working credit card machine.
As for the aftermath of this unexpected event, the repercussions for Schwarzenegger remain unclear. His spokesperson, Daniel Ketchell, tells The Washington Post, “Lawyers are dealing with it,” expressing confidence that there will be no major issues, as Schwarzenegger is diligent about paying his taxes.
This incident at Munich Airport with Arnold Schwarzenegger serves as a stark reminder of the complexities of international travel and customs regulations. Even celebrities with the best intentions can find themselves entangled in bureaucratic challenges. As this story continues to unfold, it highlights the importance of being aware of and compliant with customs rules, no matter your status or purpose of travel.