Arnold Schwarzenegger detained for hours over luxury watch by German police

 January 18, 2024

Arnold Schwarzenegger was detained for hours at an airport in Munich, Germany on Wednesday, an ordeal that he later described as an "incompetent shakedown" over a luxury watch.

The Terminator star intended to sell the custom-made Swiss watch at a charity auction in his native Austria but was taken aside by customs officials for failing to declare the expensive item.

Police in Germany say they have opened criminal tax proceedings against the actor.

“We have initiated criminal tax proceedings,” Thomas Meister, a spokesperson for the customs office, told the German news outlet Bild. “The watch should have been registered because it is an import.”

Schwarzenegger detained in Germany

The actor says he was never asked to fill out any forms to declare the $21,000 watch and was cooperative throughout the entire process, which he described as a scene from a comedy movie.

Schwarzenegger, 76, agreed to pay the duty on the item, but customs officers struggled with a credit card machine for an hour before taking him to a bank to get cash from an ATM.

But the ATM's limit was too low, and the bank was closed, so he was brought back to the customs office where a working credit card machine was finally found. The entire sequence lasted about three hours.

“He was never asked to fill out a declaration form and he answered every question from customs officers honestly,” a source told The New York Post.

“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 continued.

Watch sold for...

Later, the Predator star joked about the ordeal at the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative auction in Kitzbühel, Austria, where the watch was sold for nearly $300,000.

"Can you even believe that all of a sudden I was in handcuffs? I was in handcuffs! Not because of the watch or because of the customs office, but I had a hot night with my girlfriend Heather last night," he joked.

Schwarzenegger was the Republican governor of California from 2003 to 2011 and later became a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

The actor's climate group seeks to raise "awareness of the climate crisis and the urgent need for action every day."

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