(ReliableNews.org) – Airport security around the world makes no exception when it comes to the safety and well-being of travelers. Even when influential figures enter an airport, they must abide by the rules, especially when stopped by customs.
On January 17th, The Hill reported that former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was detained at Munich Airport for three hours on his way to the World Climate Summit in Kitzbühel. He was reportedly traveling with an unregistered luxury watch he was planning to auction off for charity at an upcoming dinner. The Audemars Piguet timepiece was from Schwarzenegger’s personal collection. He said it was worth 20,000 euros.
Customs agents discovered the watch after stopping the former governor for a “suspicion-free” bag check. For neglecting to register the watch, Schwarzenegger had to pay a fine of 35,000 euros, half of which had to be paid in cash. According to sources, agents walked him to a nearby bank to withdraw the necessary funds after discovering the nearby ATM did not have enough funds. While cooperative, Schwarzenegger told a local news outlet that the incident highlights the fact that Germany “can’t see the forest for the trees” because the money from the watch was slated for charity. According to the German news source, the officials harassed the former governor.
Thomas Meister, the spokesperson for the Munich Main Customs Office, insisted that the watch should have been registered as an import. Schwarzenegger agreed to prepay potential taxes on the watch, but Meister said customs started criminal proceedings under tax law. According to The New York Times, customs rules in Munich require travelers to declare any goods from outside the EU valued at more than 430 euros.
Daniel Ketchell, Schwarzenegger’s spokesperson, told The Washington Post that “lawyers are dealing with” the situation. They “don’t expect any issues because Arnold always pays his taxes.”
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