Arnold Schwarzenegger Detained in Germany, Faces Criminal Tax Proceedings Over Luxury Watch

By Jace Dela Cruz

Jan 19, 2024 03:38 AM EST

Hollywood icon and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was temporarily detained in Germany for failing to declare a luxury watch upon landing at Munich Airport on Wednesday. Officials in Germany said the "Terminator" actor is now facing criminal tax proceedings.

An airport customs spokesperson told NBC News that Schwarzenegger was stopped for a routine check on arrival and questioned for two and a half hours before being allowed to leave.

Las Vegas Hosts Annual CES Trade Show
(Photo : Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 04: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks during a keynote address by Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG Oliver Zipse at CES 2023 at The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on January 04, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Detained in Germany

A source close to Arnold Schwarzenegger said the 76-year-old actor brought the luxury watch into Germany while en route to a charity event in his birth country, Austria.

The source noted that the watch, which was custom-made for Schwarzenegger by Swiss luxury brand Audemars Piguet, was intended to be a prize at the charity auction in Kitzbuehel, Austria, on Thursday in aid of the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative.

"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," the source noted.

The source said Schwarzenegger agreed to prepay any taxes on the expensive watch but could not find a working credit card machine. 

The source noted that officers then assisted the actor to an ATM inside the airport to withdraw cash, but the withdrawal limit was too low, and the bank was already closed. The insider said the tax was only paid after a second credit card machine worked.

The source noted that the watch will likely still be auctioned on Thursday, and "the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative will properly report it, as all of Arnold's nonprofits do."

NBC News reported that the the proceeds will go on environmental projects and the yearly Austrian World Summit climate conference in Vienna arranged by the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative.

READ ALSO: Hunter Biden Enters Not Guilty Plea on Tax Evasion Charges After Deal Falls Apart

Arnold Schwarzenegger Faces Criminal Tax Proceedings

Thomas Meister, spokesman for Munich's customs office, told German broadcaster RTL that his office has initiated criminal tax proceedings against the actor. Meister noted that Arnold Schwarzenegger was allowed to consult a lawyer and asked to provide personal and financial information.

"This will then be processed by our criminal and fines office. It's too early to say what the outcome will be. There are many factors that have to be taken into account. It will still take some time," Meister said.

Although it was still unclear what legal consequences the actor would actually face, Schwarzenegger's spokesman, Daniel Ketchell, who was on the flight, told The Washington Post that the investigation could result in a fine or court appearance. 

READ MORE: Joe Biden Administration Takes Credit for December's Strong Retail Sales Numbers, Says 'That's Bidenomics at Work'

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics