Tintin Wiki

"By the beard of the Prophet!"
—Omar Ben Salaad

Omar Ben Salaad is an Arab merchant who appears in The Crab with the Golden Claws and the main antagonist of the story.


Omar Ben Salaad was one of the most respected men in the port city of Bagghar, Morocco, then a French Colony. He was known to the public as a sophisticated merchant until he was later exposed in The Crab with the Golden Claws to be the mastermind of a drug-smuggling venture of opium, even involving European support from a merchant ship crew. His confidential doings are sabotaged by Tintin, Captain Haddock, and the Thompsons and subsequently gets arrested by the French Moroccan police. Ben Salaad was also the one who sent the initial order to have Tintin thrown overboard from the Karaboudjan in the story, but his escape prevented it.

Other Portrayals

In the 2011 motion-capture film, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, Ben Salaad no longer takes on an antagonist role and is instead a neutral character portrayed as a wealthy sheikh of Bagghar, voiced and motion-captured by Gad Elmaleh. In the film, Ben Salaad owns an exotic palace, several horses, automobiles, huge amounts of land and a private plane. He is also a model ship collector and lover of classical music and opera. Furthermore, on part of him being a model ship collector, Ben Salaad possessed one of the three replica model ships of The Unicorn protected in bulletproof glass until Bianca Castafiore, a guest at his palace breaks it with her singing, thus unknowingly permitting Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine to steal the capsule within the model containing the last parchment needed to uncover the whereabouts of Sir Francis Haddock's treasure.