US terror experts ‘wanted entry to Swatch plants’

US terror experts 'wanted entry to Swatch plants'
Nick Hayek. Photo: AFP/File
Swatch group faced pressure from the United States after refusing to open its factories to inspection by American terrorism experts, the head of the world’s largest watch company says.

Nick Hayek, in an interview with weekly German-language newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag, revealed that Biel-based Swatch had been subjected to requests by the US experts.

“They wanted without doubt to verify if it was possible to conceal explosives, poison or anything in the watches,” Hayek told the newspaper.

“It was an issue of terrorist danger,” the Swatch president and CEO said.

But he said since the company had nothing to discuss, it flatly rejected the request, Hayek said.

The Americans subsequently affirmed that “we were going to have difficulties with importing (watches to the US),” he is quoted as saying.

Nothing subsequently emerged, however, almost certainly because the Swatch Group employs thousands of people in the US, Hayek said.

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