Boiling Water, Hydrochloric Acid, Knives: Not Your Typical Deal-Making Tools


Ever hold a grudge over a real estate deal gone bad? One such grudge went to the next level, reportedly leading to a plot to torture an Egyptian businessman with boiling water, hydrochloric acid and a knife.

“You should hurt him so bad his mother will feel it,” Manhattan food cart vendor Wagih Gamaleldein allegedly told a hitman before being busted for a plot to torture – and possibly kill – an Egyptian-American businessman, the Daily News reported.

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ToolsMr. Gamaleldein allegedly agreed to pay a friend (slash hitman) $100,000 to torture 70-year-old Sharif El Fouly with the sinister torture tools unless the businessman wired $200,000 to a bank account in Kuwait, before being busted Monday on the street corner where he operates his cart, on East 59th Street and 5th Avenue.

The disagreement began after Mr. Gamaleldein apparently asked Mr. Fouly if he was interested in buying a friend’s property on Steinway Street and instead Mr. Fouly purchased it directly from a bank that had purchased it, later building a four-story apartment building on the site. Soon the suspect visited Mr. Fouly, demanding money and later devising the twisted plan.

“You should start with boiling water. If that doesn’t work, you should use the hot knives. And if that doesn’t work, you should use acid water,” Mr. Gamaleldein reportedly told the hitman.

But Mr. Fouly, who owns Sharif Designs and also built the Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Astoria, said the hitman changed his mind and notified authorities after he “learned Fouly was a good person,” according to the report.

“You realize things you read in a book or see in a movie are also possible, that they can happen to you,” Mr. Fouly, told the News. “I’m counting my blessings, how lucky I am.”

Mr. Gamaleldein has been charged with attempted kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.