I had drugs whilst in prison, says net idol
Film actor and Internet idol Panya “Keng Laiprang” Yimumphai is back in jail after confessing in Bangkok’s Ratchadapisek Criminal Court on Wednesday that he had illegal drugs in his possession while he was incarcerated years ago.
The 34-year-old with a tattooed face (his nickname means “camouflage”) had originally denied a charge of possessing just over half a gram of crystal methamphetamine (“ice”) with intent to sell while serving time in Khlong Prem Prison.
He’d been rearrested in January and was out on bail pending trial.
At Wednesday’s court session to hear witness testimony, though, Panya changed his plea to guilty.
He was sentenced to a further six years, eight months in prison and fined Bt560,000, reduced to three years, four months and Bt280,000 because he confessed.
Apparently planning to appeal the verdict, Panya’s mother offered Bt550,000 as bail insurance, but the judge forwarded her request to the Appeals Court. Panya is being held in remand prison pending the bail decision.
Panya acted as an extra in the 2017 British-French movie “A Prayer Before Dawn”, which was shown at the Cannes International Film Festival in May, with him and other cast members in attendance.
The movie starred Joe Cole as the real-life Billy Moore, a troubled young British boxer who survived an ordeal in a Thai prison, becoming a muay thai champion.
Panya served eight years in prison for attempted murder and robbery in 2003, but since his release in 2011 has been described as “a changed man”.
Working as a DJ and product presenter and doing occasional nightclub appearances and film roles, he became an Internet celebrity, with two million followers on Facebook.
Source: Thai Visa