Arnold Schwarzenegger detained over EU tax for luxury watch

24 minutes ago
About sharing

By Oliver Slow
BBC News

Arnold Schwarzenegger was detained at a German airport for allegedly failing to declare a luxury watch he was planning to auction for charity.

The Hollywood actor was held for three hours at Munich airport on Wednesday.

An investigation for alleged tax evasion was launched as the watch was intended to be sold within the European Union (EU).

According to EU rules, anyone arriving with “cash or certain valuable items” over €10,000 (£8,580) must declare it.

However, a source told CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, that Schwarzenegger was not asked to fill out a declaration form.

The actor, politician and climate change campaigner was eventually able to pay the tax, but only after overcoming a number of problems.

After an initial card machine did not work, it was discovered that the nearest bank was closed and ATM withdrawal limits were too low, meaning the 76-year-old had to wait for a new card machine to be brought by customs officials, the source said.

The actor’s spokesman told German tabloid Bild that the airport incident was “a total comedy full of errors, but which would make a very funny police film”.

Bild said he “took the incident calmly” and an image it published showed a smiling Schwarzenegger posing for a photo and holding a box for the watch with a note saying “For Austria”.

According to local media, the watch was custom-made for the Terminator star by luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, which makes timepieces that can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The watch was said to be up for auction at a fundraising dinner for The Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative in Kitzbuhel, Austria, about 89 km (55 miles) from Munich, later on Thursday.

A press release for the event, due to take place at the five-star Stanglwirt hotel, said “artworks, signed exhibits, and experiences from the worlds of sports and film” will be up for sale.

An auction listing for the watch, obtained by Bild, said it was one of only 20 in existence, and would include “an image of Arnold in his iconic pose with the words ‘Arnold Classic'”. The stated starting price for bids was €50,000.

Related Topics

More on this story

20 May 2023