|“||This facility is a miracle of modern science... state-of-the-art technology. Solar energy harnessed to destroy the world's contaminants, not such a bad idea after all.||„|
|~ Massarde to Eva about his plant.|
Yves Massarde is the secondary antagonist of the 2005 comedy-adventure film Sahara, based on the 1992 novel of the same name. He is a greedy French businessman who is in league with the Malian dictator Zateb Kazim.
He was portrayed by Lambert Wilson.
Massarde was a close friend of Admiral Jim Sandecker as he did a lot of business with him in Africa, mostly in Mali, where a civil war has ruptured between the ruthless Kazim and the peaceful Tuareg fighters (led by their leader Modibo). Massarde even once stated that Kazim was once a colonel in the Malian army who staged a successful coup against the Malian president to take over Mali for himself.
During the beginning of the film, Massarde was a guest during the unveiling of an ancient tomb belonging to King Bateen, where he is introduced to Frank Hopper and Eva Rojas (doctors working for the World Health Organization), who are investigating a source of a plague across Mali. Massarde tried to warn the doctors that heading to Mali would be bad news for them because of Kazim's reign, but the doctors decided to go there to investigate, with the help from Sandecker's treasure hunter Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino.
Heading onward to Bambako (the Malian capital), Massarde informs Kazim of the doctors' intentions, so Kazim decides to pay them a personal visit. To that end, Kazim laid an ambush on the doctors and their team at the village of Asler that was once infected. After killing off Hopper and the team, Kazim orders his men to search for Eva and destroy the village, though this was thwarted by an arriving Dirk and Al, who killed off five of Kazim's soldiers before escaping with Eva. Upon being told about the ambush by a sole survivor, Massarde states that both Dirk and Al are hardly military elite since they are treasure hunters, but Kazim warns Massarde not to underestimate their intelligence (due to their experience serving in the U.S. Navy).
Eva soon learns that the Niger River was contaminated with toxins that caused the disease just the trio soon found out that Massarde has built a solar detoxification plant, which happens to be the source of the toxins. They also learned that Kazim has captured several of Mobido's soldiers and has Massarde to force them to dump the toxins into an underground river beneath the plant connecting to the Niger River. It was then the trio realized of a horrible revelation: Kazim has been allowing Massarde to dump the toxins into the underground river in exchange for profit, and the contamination would reach the Atlantic Ocean within a week if not stopped, which would result in a worldwide case of marine pollution. It also turns out that Massaarde is aware of the pollution spreading out and has thoughts of containing it for a brief period of time, though he is brushed off by Kazim, who still intends to continue profiting out from it.
Expecting the trio's arrival, Massarde lays out a trap on the trio, having two of his men to deliver Dirk and Al to Kazim while keeping Eva as his prisoner (with the help from his assassin Zakara). However, Dirk and Al escaped confinement, forcing an annoyed Kazim to gather his troops and search around the desert. When Massarde points out that the world authorities will catch on to Kazim if the toxins are to reach the ocean, Kazim reluctantly orders Massarde to shut down the plant on the conditions that his payments will continue. Massarde then tried to destroy the plant with explosives (which would make it impossible to stop the contamination), but Dirk and Al allied themselves with Modibo to break into the plant and free the captured men. After letting Modibo and his men escape, Al steals away the explosives while Dirk finishes off Zakara and rescues Eva again, forcing a defeated Massarde to escape in his helicopter.
Following Kazim's death and the end of the civil war, Massarde is last seen at a bar (presumably in France) dining and talking with his lawyer, as they are aware that the plant is shut down and that the authorities will trace back to him for trial. However, they are unaware that an undercover agent named Carl (a close friend of Sandecker) is posing as a bartender giving Massarde poisoned wine right before he leaves the scene. It can be implied that Massarde has died succumbing to the poison after drinking the wine.