- "My prices will astonish you."
- — Figueira[src]
De Figueira and Tintin first meet in Cigars of the Pharaoh. After Tintin and Snowy had been cast adrift in the Red Sea, they were salvaged and picked up by a dhow. De Figueira was seen a passenger, and quickly talked Tintin into buying a variety of superfluous objects. However, Tintin chooses not to purchase any of De Figueira's stock when knowing he should not buy anything useless during his then-current adventure.
De Figueira later appears again in Land of Black Gold, where he plays a more obviously valuable role in helping Tintin infiltrate Dr. Müller's headquarters. He aids Tintin by disguising him as his nephew "Alvaro" while making deliveries and keeping the guards at the headquarters distracted with an elaborate story while Tintin searches.
Once more, De Figueira returns in The Red Sea Sharks, where he once again serves a valuable role in hiding Tintin and Captain Haddock from the police of Khemed, despite knowing of the price on their heads. He brings them up to speed on the political situation in Khemed following Bab El Ehr's takeover before providing them with disguises and someone to escort them to meet the former Emir.
De Figueira then made his last appearance in The Castafiore Emerald, albeit not in-person. He is one of the people who sends Captain Haddock a congratulatory telegram on the misinterpreted news of Haddock and Bianca Castafiore being falsely engaged in the story.
Oliveira de Figueira is the form used by Hergé in the last appearances of the character. This happened when Hergé realised that de is the correct spelling in Portuguese. He used Oliveira da Figueira in Cigars of the Pharaoh, but later, in The Red Sea Sharks, he is correctly named the character de Figueira.