Body Language Reading and Profiling Training for Afghan and Turkmen Border Officers

Mar 17, 2017

17 March 2017 - In partnership with OSCE Centre in Asghabat, UNDP’s EU-BOMNAF project conducted a week-long training course for ten Afghan Border Police (ABP) ten Turkmen State Border Service Officers (SBS), about Body Language Reading and Profiling. Training for these beneficiary participants, who serve on the Afghan-Turkmen border, was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan during the second week of March. This was the first time that OSCE Centre in Ashgabat and EU-BOMNAF have successfully brought together Border Officers from both countries for centralised training.
With the support of EU-BOMNAF staff, instruction was carried out by US Border Force experts, Mr Patrick Comey and Mr Danny Sendroff, who shared their considerable experience, gained in many areas of the world, in methods of observing non-verbal behaviour, examining travel and identity documents and detecting imposters. The objective of this course was to provide the Border Officers with an opportunity to receive high-quality training, and to improve collaboration between their organizations.
Lead Expert, Patrick Comey said: “It has been a special privilege for us to come to Turkmenistan and share information on observing non-verbal behaviours, examining travel documents, and interviewing techniques, that will improve the ability of Turkmen and Afghan border officers to do their jobs. It has been particularly enjoyable working with students from adjoining countries in furtherance of their future joint efforts”.
Collaboration of this kind highlights the constant need for inter-agency cooperation against transnational threats such as narcotics traffickers and smuggling of illicit goods across international borders. It is expected that sustained resource and information sharing between stakeholders will counteract the effectiveness of well-established smuggling operations and organized international crime networks.
Reflecting on the training, Colonel Zalmai Akhgar, Operations Officer with the ABP’s 5th Brigade in Herat, stated: “This joint UNDP-OSCE workshop was very impressive for both ABP students and Turkmen colleagues. We have gained much knowledge and many useful skills. It was very useful training and when we return to our units, we’ll review the information, and share the knowledge gained with our colleagues, so that our personnel can use these skills in their daily activities and improve the results of our work."
EU-BOMNAF Project Manager William Lawrence, explained: “It is the intention of EU-BOMNAF to improve ties between agencies on both sides of the border through building confidence within border regions and improving cooperation between international border agencies. As well as to increase the capacity and improve the capability of the beneficiary students during this training, it is also our intention to help Afghanistan become closer to Central Asia. We want to create genuine synergies between border forces and foster contacts between the institutions of these neighbouring countries. I hope that the relationships and indeed friendships that may be created during this week will endure into the future and will positively affect work on both sides of the joint border with Afghanistan. It is important to us all that Afghanistan has friends in the region and we have much optimism that whatever is achieved through this joint training, one of the main benefits will be to cross-border cooperation and regional liaison”.

Contact information

William Lawrence, EU-BOMNAF Project Manager at


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