Arnold Schwarzenegger Detained at Airport for Luxury Watch

( – Movie star and bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger got into a little pinch in a German airport this month after Munich Customs discovered he failed to declare an expensive item upon entering the country. The actor, who was also once governor of California, now faces criminal tax proceedings.

According to Thomas Meister, a Munich Customs press officer, Schwarzenegger “did not declare a product” that was imported from outside the European Union (EU) in order for it “to remain in the EU.” Meister said the process of declaring taxable items entering the country “applies to everyone.” After Munich Customs agents held the actor for almost three hours at the airport, he was released and allowed to continue to his destination.

According to a source close to Schwarzenegger, the item the movie star and former governor failed to disclose was a watch he owned that he was traveling with, possibly to be auctioned off at a charity auction the following day in Kitzbuhel, Austria. The watch was made by Audemars Piguet, an ultra-luxury watch manufacturer based in Switzerland.

The source also said that customs never asked Schwarzenegger to fill out any form declaring the item and that he answered all of their questions “honestly,” cooperating “at every step.” The source said the “shakedown” was conducted incompetently and described the incident as a “total comedy of errors” that would’ve made “a very funny cop movie.”

Schwarzenegger agreed to pay any potential taxes on the luxury watch ahead of time. When officers could not fix their broken credit card machine to process the payment, they eventually gave up after an hour. They brought Schwarzenegger to a nearby bank to withdraw cash to pay the tax, but the bank was closed, and the ATM did not have enough to cover the bill. When they returned to the Munich airport, one officer had purchased a new credit card machine, and Schwarzenegger was finally able to make the payment and be on his way.

Last October, the former Republican California governor and prolific fitness advocate spoke with CNN about his new book and aging, reflecting on the difference between the man he sees in the mirror today and the bodybuilding icon of the past.

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