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Businessman busy day after disappearance
Businessman 'busy' day after disappearance

Update: A couple who invested $40,000 in a diamond deal involving a missing Ballajura businessman have denied they pressured the man’s wife into not reporting his disappearance to police.

Raymond and Anita English today gave evidence at the inquest into the suspected death of 57-year-old Wayne Drewett, who disappeared in April 2003 while negotiating a $1 million diamond deal.

Mrs English, one of the investors in the deal, insisted she urged Mr Drewett’s wife, Joyce, to go to police on April 19, 2003 after finding out she had been unable to reach him for several days.

Mr Drewett’s disappearance was not reported to police until May 4, nearly three weeks after his wife last heard from him.

Mr English disputed Mrs Drewett’s evidence that she was pressured into not going to police after being warned her husband’s life could be in danger.

Mrs English conceded it was a crucial omission that nothing about her encouraging Mrs Drewett to go to police was in her 2003 police statements, but she maintained that was what she said.

She denied telling Mrs Drewett she was overreacting and being "silly" for wanting to go to police.

During his evidence, Mr English admitted his recollection of the 2003 events were vague, prompting Coroner Peter Collins to question how he could have been so adamant about what was said to Mrs Drewett.

Today, Mr English revealed he spoke to Mr Drewett on April 15 and said he had spoken "in a hushed voice" and politely told him he was "very, very busy", leading him to assume Mr Drewett was "settling the deal".

Mr English went to Mrs Drewett’s house on April 19 along with Anita and two other investors.

He said he recalled they told Mrs Drewett to go to police and claimed she may have been under instructions from Mr Drewett not to go to police, saying he kept the deal secret from her.

He also denied he and his wife had told Mrs Drewett she was "being silly" for wanting to report her husband’s disappearance to police and that he would be in danger if police became involved.

The inquest has been told the cash-only deal involved Mr Drewett raising the money on behalf of a facilitator who would exchange and resell the diamonds for a substantial profit.

Mrs English said it was mentioned that the diamonds may have been from Italy but investors were not given information about where they were sourced from or who the facilitator was.

She said she did not know much about the diamonds’ purity except that they "were ones that had fallen off the table" and investors did not know how much of a return they would receive from the deal.

The inquest continues tomorrow.