Coroner believes missing man murdered following million dollar diamond scam

A coroner in Western Australia has said he is satisfied that missing diamond dealer Wayne Drewett is dead following his involvement in a black market transaction with a Romanian counter-party.

The West Australian reports that coroner Peter Collins believes Drewett, 57, was a victim of foul play following his sudden disappearance nine years ago. Drewett was last seen by his wife Joyce on April 14, 2003, less than a week after raising up to AUD$1 million in funds for a black market diamond deal.

According to Collins has pointed an accusing finger at the man responsible for facilitating the illicit transaction, Romanian-born Niculae Stoian, who also goes by the Anglicized name of Nick Stuart. Collins said that "all roads" pointed to Stuart's involvement in Drewett's death.

"There is [a] substantial body of circumstantial evidence pointing to the fact that Nick Stuart had contributed to Mr. Drewett's disappearance and death."

Stuart departed Australia soon following Drewett's appearance in April 2003, and has never returned to the country.

Police believe that the diamonds for which Drewett raised $1 million to import to Australia never existed.

Evidence submitted to the coroner's inquest indicates that Stuart left Australia with thousands of dollars in cash in his possession. Stuart transferred $12,700 just prior to his departure, and declared a further $60,000 upon leaving Australia.

Police in Western Australia plan to contact the Romanian authorities, and the coroner's report will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.