Miss Teen Thailand faces jail over drugs

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Despite her tearful plea for another chance from the Thai public, actress and former Miss Teen Thailand Amelia "Amy" Jacobs is facing serious drug charges that could spell the end of her acting career.

Her main work contract, which had a year to run, was terminated on Wednesday. Anocha Panupan, managing director of Amerlia's employer, Broadcast Thai Television Co, said the 28-year-old actress's drug arrest breached the contract because it tarnished the company's reputation.

Meanwhile, Amelia's boyfriend Poonyawat Hirantecha, 40, who was nabbed early on Tuesday morning along with her and 70 grams of crystal methamphetamine, or "ice", 16 ecstasy pills, drug-taking tools and a scale, said he wouldn't implicate others for fear of being killed.

Samut Prakan pub owner Poonyawat, who admitted to using drugs, said he was not a drug dealer and that the "ice" police found at the home wasn't his.

He said the drug belonged to a friend who had left it there for safekeeping on September 17 as part of an arrangement under which Poonyawat would get free drugs for personal use. He said he wouldn't reveal the friend's name.

On Wednesday morning, Amelia was subjected to police interrogation. Pol Maj-General Surachet Hakpan, the 191 patrol and special operation division chief, said police questioned Amelia as per normal procedures to determine accomplices, the source of the narcotics and related money transactions.

Surachet said inquiries so far had not identified any other celebrities involved in alleged drug crimes. The actress was due to face Min Buri Court, where police were expected to apply for her to face a first-detention-period order.

Her father and younger brother visited the actress at the precinct's cell for 20 minutes and left without any comment.

On Tuesday night, Amelia tearfully apologised to the Thai public while being brought to Sai Mai Police Station, saying she had no intention of doing wrong and wanted people to give her another chance.

The actress insisted that she had been charged for taking drugs and she would atone for that by serving society. However, arresting police officers initially said the couple were charged with possessing drugs with intent to sell them.

Amelia said her mother was very sad over the drug case against her and, when it was all over, her mother would take her to stay in another country. Meanwhile, on Tuesday night, police arrested another woman, Natcha Jampasaeng, 34, who allegedly was in the same drug network as Poonyawat.

When arresting the woman at a Lat Phrao condominium, police officers seized 14 bottles of ketamine, 8 grams of "ice" and two ecstasy pills along with drug-taking tools. Natcha reportedly confessed to the drug crime and was sent to the Lat Phrao precinct.

Poonyawat explained that Natcha had sent a Line message to him, asking for drugs, while he was being arrested, so police conducted a sting operation to arrest her too.