NAIROBI, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Kenya on Friday launched a crackdown on illegal foreign film crews to help boost national security.
Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) chief executive officer Ezekiel Mutua told reporters in Nairobi that illegal or unauthorized filming, particularly in public places, poses serious security threats to the country.
"Films can be used by criminals to gather information and navigate targeted spots. Illegal films in public places must therefore not be allowed," he said. "We will work closely with security agencies to always monitor and scrutinize such activities and apprehend anyone operating without a filming license from the Board."
The announcement came a few days after Kenya suffered a terror attack at a Nairobi business complex that has so far claimed 21 lives.
Mutua noted that there have been cases of forged filming licenses issued by some unscrupulous persons masquerading as KFCB registered films.
"In one incident which we have reported to the police, a forged filming license was issued to a foreign film crew in the country," he said.
"Considering the possible misuse of films and content creation by criminal elements, and in order to support security agencies with data and information about authorized filmmakers in Kenya, KFCB urges all filmmakers to ensure that they have a film license before embarking on any shoot," Mutua said.
He said that the license requirement also touches on those filming at the national parks and games reserves.
"Indeed, we have information that some of the people involved in the illegal filming activities are foreigners who come into the country as tourists but end up shooting films without authorization," Mutua said.
These developments are worrying as they can lead to serious security breaches and can be abused by criminals to jeopardize national security, he said.