On Wednesday, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was detained at a German airport and will take on criminal proceedings for not declaring his luxury watch at customs.
According to Bild, a German news outlet, the Hollywood celebrity turned politician was detained by authorities at Munich International Airport after they discovered a luxury watch worth approximately $21,000 in his luggage.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Detained In Munich Over 'Unregistered' Watch, Taken to ATM | Click to read more 👇 https://t.co/aT8Dy3UKBp
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 17, 2024
The former governor, 76, was detained for three hours after leaving on a flight from Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Daniel Ketchell said.
“He was detained for three hours, and he owns the watch. None of the people I knew and sat next to on our commercial flight filled out a declaration form, including Arnold. He got to customs, and they told him he was randomly selected to be searched,” Ketchell said.
“During the search, he answered every question the customs officer asked, so to say he didn’t declare anything is 100% false,” he added.
Thomas Meister, a spokesperson for Munich customs, said Schwarzenegger should have paid taxes on the watch because he intended to sell it in the European Union. The luxury watch was custom-made for the former politician by Swiss luxury brand Audemars Piguet.
According to Munich customs rules, travelers from outside the European Union must declare any goods from outside the European Union that are valued at more than 430 euros (about $470). Arnold failed to declare the watch.
A close friend of the celebrity who was familiar with the situation said that he had agreed to prepay potential taxes on the watch. The luxury piece of jewelry from Arnold’s collection was still scheduled for auction on Thursday evening. From there, the Climate Initiative would report the income to the proper authorities.
The former star was also supposed to host a dinner Thursday evening in the Austrian ski resort of Kitzbühel, one of the many activities to mark an annual Alpine skiing competition.
“We have initiated criminal tax proceedings. This will then be processed by our criminal and fines office, but it’s too early to say what the outcome will be. Many factors must be considered, so it will still take some time,” Thomas Meister said.
Schwarzenegger’s celebrity status wasn’t enough to save him from Munich’s customs authorities.