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"He's notorious for cutting in on other people's finds."―Indiana Jones[src]
Theo Van Aaken was an unscrupulous Afrikaner archaeologist and a rival of Indiana Jones.
Theo Van Aaken worked with Sophia Hapgood on an expedition near the Indian-Nepalese border in 1938. When Jones joined the team, he accused Van Aaken of pilfering some artifacts at an earlier dig in Mexico. A quick uppercut from Jones left Van Aaken stunned.
Claiming to be living up to Jones' expectations, Van Aaken later took Jones' young assistant, Khamal hostage and would free him in exchange for a priceless Buddhist manuscript Jones had uncovered. Indy managed to outwit the South African, who escaped to Delhi, after being defeated by Jones.
His desire to get even with Jones led Van Aaken to the Japanese embassy, where he told General Masashi Kyojo of the manuscript and urged pursuit. Kyojo rewarded Van Aaken with a fatal shot in the neck.