Arnold Schwarzenegger is now embroiled in criminal tax proceedings in Germany. The former California governor and Hollywood star failed to declare a luxury watch upon his arrival in the country.
What Happened: Schwarzenegger, 76, was detained at Munich Airport for over two hours on Wednesday, a Munich Customs press officer, Thomas Meister, told CNN. The actor, who was traveling to Austria, was held due to an undeclared item from a non-EU country.
“He did not declare a product. A product that was imported from non-EU countries in order to remain in the EU. And this process applies to everyone,” said Meister.
The watch from the Swiss luxury brand Audemars Piguet, which Schwarzenegger reportedly intended to auction at a charity event in Kitzbuhel, Austria. The actor was reportedly not asked to fill out a declaration form.
After being detained, Schwarzenegger agreed to pre-pay potential taxes on the watch. However, the customs officers were unable to process the payment via credit card and took him to a bank to withdraw cash. When the ATM limit was too low and the bank was closed, a new officer brought a working credit card machine upon his return.
Why It Matters: Schwarzenegger built a successful business before entering Hollywood, has been an influential figure in both the entertainment industry and politics.
He was sworn in as the 38th governor of California on Nov. 17, 2003. He has dismissed the concept of being a self-made man in the past.
“I didn’t make it that far on my own. I mean, to accept that credit or that medal, would discount every single person that has helped me get here today, that gave me advice, that made an effort, that lifted me up when I fell.”
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