BIEL, Switzerland, April 8 (UPI) -- The Swiss watchmaker Swatch group faced pressure from U.S. terrorism experts for refusing to open its factories to inspection, said Swatch CEO Nick Hayek, Jr.
Hayek told the German news magazine Schweiz am Sonntag in an interview that the company, based in the watchmaking city of Biel, Switzerland, had repeatedly been asked by unidentified U.S. terrorism investigators to see its factories.
“They wanted without doubt to verify if it was possible to conceal explosives, poison or anything in the watches. It was an issue of terrorist danger,” Hayek said, adding that since Swatch had nothing to hide, it rejected the requests.
The American representatives suggested “we were going to have difficulties with importing (watches to the United States),” he said, but nothing came of the issue because Swatch employs thousands in the United States.
Hayek did not mention when the requests for inspection of Swatch facilities occurred, or precisely which U.S. agency was involved.