Man caught smuggling car across Johnstown border

In this June 4, 2016, file photo, cars line up at the border crossing in Johnstown, Ont. An Ottawa man has been fined after trying to smuggle a car across the border last month. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

JOHNSTOWN – An Ottawa man learned the hard way that it’s better to be up front and honest at the border.

This, after driving a U.S.-plated car across the border into Canada on Jan. 15, 2017 where he claimed the vehicle had been loaned to him by a friend, the CBSA said.

The driver had declared $300 in goods after shopping in Ogdensburg, N.Y. but the whole “borrow the car from a friend” didn’t wash with border agents.

After being questioned and a search of the man’s phone and car in secondary inspection, the 45-year-old Ottawa resident later admitted he had just bought the $12,000 vehicle.

The man had attempted to evade paying $700 in duties and taxes as well as the $295 registration for important vehicles fee.

Instead, he ended up paying a $6,646 penalty on top of those fees before the car was released.