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    Jun 05, 2014

    When clients get too close...

    SHE thought she was about to clinch a major deal, but her "client" had his eye on something else - her.

    Assistant marketing manager Linda Yang of realty firm ERA Singapore thought she was about to close the deal when her 50-year-old client suddenly became touchy-feely.

    As they were walking and discussing the deal, the 26-year-old felt his hand wandering down from her head to her shoulders, and then her back.

    Miss Yang said: "I used my handbag to create a barrier between us, but somehow, he got past it to touch me."

    He also used a suggestive tone when talking to her and digressed into topics such as his sexual history. "I felt uncomfortable, but I couldn't just walk away. I didn't know how to react. When I eventually left the meeting, he even winked at me," she said.

    Her contact with the client ended when her boyfriend told her to stay away from him as "things were getting out of hand".

    Miss Yang realised things could have ended a lot worse when she found out about serial rapist Azuar Ahamad, who was sentenced to 37½ years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane last week.

    The 44-year-old had raped and sexually assaulted eight women, and molested another 14, many of them sales executives and working professionals like Miss Yang.

    PropNex Realty chief executive Mohamed Ismail Gafoor believes that people like property and insurance agents are targeted by sexual predators due to the nature of their job.

    "Agents work independently and, in their interest to close a deal, they cannot ignore potential clients. This enthusiasm makes them easy targets," he said.