Popular Nigerian Nollywood Actor, Hanks Anuku, has been arrested alongside other members of a movie crew.
According to Daily Graphic, the actor who was part of a movie crew of 11 was allegedly arrested for causing panic during the shooting of a television series on Spintex Road in Accra. Other members of the crew that were arrested are George Adu Badoo, Joseph Heisk, Ivy Bentum, Adjetey Roberts, Eluheaka Mensah, Arhin Wakila, Mary Acheampong, Emmanuel Anumaka, Charles Roger Beckly and Sherrif Sandy Brown.
The movie crew was said to have fired gunshots indiscriminately about 3 a.m. yesterday, causing residents of the area to think it was an armed robbery attack. Road users were said to have put a called through to the Police Control Room through the emergency numbers.
Briefing journalists yesterday, the Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Christian Tetteh Yohuno, said:
“Most motorists who were using that stretch of road, upon hearing the loud command of “Stop! Stop! Stop!”, sensed danger and quickly reversed, causing a lot of chaos on the Spintex Road. “A patrol team was quickly dispatched to the scene, only to ascertain that the supposed gang was a crew of a movie production company known as Rabell Entertainment,” he said.
The movie crew who were acting a robbery scene were accosted by the police. The DCOP said that the police found that the crew members were using a shotgun, fire crackers, two rubber-made pistols and toy machine guns to shoot a movie without any lawful permit; An offence that is punishable.
“More importantly, if care was not taken by the police, there could have been exchange of fire which could have led to the death of many because what the police witnessed on arrival portrayed a robbery operation,” he said.
Although the police were not against film-making because of the enormous role the industry played in society, he however pointed out that causing panic and using fire crackers without the proper permission of the police are offences punishable under the law. He further explained saying if such activities were not discouraged, any group of persons under the same modus operandi could pretend to be acting a movie but would end up committing robbery.
However, in a later interview, one of the directors of Rabell Entertainment, Billy Jane, admitted that the crew had not obtained permit for staging the violent scene which was part of a three-year television series titled: “Late Night Scenes”, which was scheduled to run on a number of television stations in Ghana soon.
She said that the crew was going home after shooting some scenes in a club when they decided to stage one of the scenes on the street. She said the company had always sought the assistance of the police any time it shot a movie which required permit or protection from the law enforcement agencies. “We are sorry. It was an oversight. I am sure it will not happen again,”she pleaded.