Arnold Schwarzenegger’s charity auction trip faced a hiccup. The actor and former California governor got held up at Munich Airport on Wednesday for a few hours.
Customs officers stopped him because he had an unregistered luxury watch, as per The Associated Press.
Customs spokesperson Thomas Meister mentioned that the movie star and former governor went through a regular check after he arrived on Wednesday. Schwarzenegger was able to leave after about 2½ hours, he shared on Thursday.
What happened with Arnold Schwarzenegger?
A German newspaper, Bild, even published a photo showing Schwarzenegger, reportedly coming from Los Angeles, with two customs officers.
Schwarzenegger’s representative, Daniel Ketchell, clarified, “None of the people I know 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 added, “During the search, he answered every single question the customs officer asked, so to say he didn’t declare anything is 100% false.”
A source familiar with the situation, not authorized to speak publicly, shared with USA TODAY on Wednesday that Schwarzenegger got held up by customs officers for three hours.
The reason was that he was traveling with a watch he owns, and he might auction it off at a charity event on Thursday in Kitzbühel, Austria. The source mentioned, “He cooperated at every step even though it was an incompetent shakedown, a total comedy of errors that would make a very funny cop movie.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger added problems
Reportedly, officers took Schwarzenegger to a bank to withdraw cash after he agreed to pre-pay potential taxes on the watch. However, they faced problems as the bank was closed, and the ATM limit was too low. The source added, “When he returned, a new officer brought a new credit card machine that worked.”
The source believes the watch is still likely to be auctioned, and the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative will properly report it.
Customs office spokesperson Thomas Meister told CNN that criminal tax proceedings have started because Schwarzenegger’s watch, being an imported item, needed to be registered. Goods over $467 in value staying in the European Union must be declared and, if needed, duty paid on them.
German daily Bild reported that the allegedly undeclared watch made by Swiss manufacturer Audemars Piguet was valued at about $21,739 by Schwarzenegger, who had it specially produced.
Now, the issue is handed over to a customs penalty body in Augsburg, and they will look into the case.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was set to host a dinner and auction for environmental protection on Thursday in Kitzbühel, as per the information on the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative website. The funds raised from this event will go to support the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative, which arranges the Austrian World Summit climate conference every year.
More about Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a famous Austrian and American actor, businessman, filmmaker, and former politician. He’s best known for his roles in action movies.
Schwarzenegger served as the 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011 and was recognized as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2004 and 2007.
His journey started when he began weightlifting at 15, winning the Mr. Universe title at 20 and the Mr. Olympia title seven times. He’s considered one of the greatest bodybuilders, even featured in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977).
Schwarzenegger transitioned to Hollywood, gaining fame in Conan the Barbarian (1982) and The Terminator (1984) series. He also starred in successful films like Commando, The Running Man, Predator, Total Recall, and True Lies. Beyond acting, he’s the founder of the film production company Oak Productions.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a registered Republican, took on a significant role as the chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports during most of the George H. W. Bush administration. Later, on October 7, 2003, he became the Governor of California after winning a special recall election to replace Governor Gray Davis.
He got 48.6% of the vote, well ahead of the Democrat Cruz Bustamante. Sworn in on November 17, he served the remainder of Davis’ term and was reelected in 2006 with an increased vote share of 55.9% for a full term. Schwarzenegger hit his term limit in 2011 and returned to acting.
Known as the “Austrian Oak” in his bodybuilding days, he was called “Arnie” or “Schwarzy” during his acting career. During his political career, he earned the nickname “the Governator,” combining “Governor” and “Terminator.”
In 1986, he married Maria Shriver, President John F. Kennedy’s niece. However, they separated in 2011 after he admitted to fathering a child with their housemaid in 1997. Their divorce was finalized in 2021.