Myuran Sukumaran was born on 17 April 1981 in London. He was the eldest child of Sam and Raji Sukumaran who are of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. Sukumaran had a brother (Chintu) and a sister (Brintha). The family moved to Australia in 1985 and lived in Auburn, a western suburb of Sydney. Sukumaran was educated at Homebush Boys High School where he was known as “Myu”. Although Andrew Chan also attended Homebush the pair were four years apart and mixed in different circles. Sukumaran told a psychiatrist that he faced bullying and racism at school. It was only in his adolescence he started making friends – mostly Chinese and Vietnamese – and started to feel accepted. After dropping out of university in the first year of his course, Sukumaran worked as a mail-room clerk at State Street Corporation, an American investment bank, and at the passport office in Sydney. He started using drugs and, attracted by fast cars, nightclubs and instant rewards, got involved in drug selling after a university friend introduced him to the criminal world. Sukumaran met Andrew Chan at a friend’s party in 2002 and got involved in smuggling drugs from Indonesia to Australia.
Media reports based on the testimony of co-conspirator, Renae Lawrence, claim that she met Sukumaran through Andrew Chan. Myuran Sukumaran and Chan both attended Homebush Boys High School, four years apart. Sukumaran, from Auburn in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, commenced university studies but dropped out and worked in the mail room at State Street Corporation, an American investment bank, and later the passport office in Sydney. Sometimes referred to in the media as a “martial arts expert” or “the enforcer”, Sukumaran trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. According to Lawrence, following earlier alleged threats from Chan, on 5 April 2005 Sukumaran met with Si Yi Chen, Martin Stephens and Lawrence at a Sydney hotel where police allege drug smuggling tools such as sealable plastic bags, medical tape, elastic waist bands and skin tight bike shorts were stuffed into the bags of Stephens and Lawrence. Lawrence claimed she was given cash; whilst Stephens claimed that his life was threatened. The following day, Sukumaran allegedly provided another group with cash for airflight tickets. On arrival in Bali, Sukumaran checked into the Hard Rock Hotel, where Chan had already arrived. Other members of the Bali Nine were staying at other hotels across Kuta. It is unclear what Sukumaran’s movements were whilst in Bali. On the evening of 17 April, appearing like tourists, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Chen and Matthew Norman checked into the Melasti Hotel. Sukumaran, who was also with them with his bags, left the bags with the others as he decided to go back to the Hard Rock Hotel complex.
Myuran Sukumaran was arrested on 17 April 2005, the day of his 24th birthday, at the Melasti Hotel in Kuta with Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Si Yi Chen and Matthew Norman. Indonesian police claim the group were in possession of 334 g (11.8 oz) of heroin and bundles of plastic wrapping, Elastoplast tape, and a set of scales, indicating involvement in a plan to transport drugs to Australia. Earlier that day at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Indonesian police also arrested the following drug mules after they were found carrying various amounts of heroin concealed on their bodies. Martin Stephens was found to be carrying 3.3 kg (7.3 lb); Renae Lawrence was found to be carrying 2.689 kg (5.93 lb); Michael Czugaj was found to be carrying 1.75 kg (3.9 lb) and Scott Rush was found to be carrying 1.3 kg (2.9 lb) of heroin. Alleged co-ringleader, Andrew Chan, was also arrested the same day whilst seated on an Australian Airlines flight waiting to depart Denpasar for Sydney. At the time Chan was arrested, he was carrying three mobile phones and a boarding pass. No drugs were found in his possession. Sukumaran denied any involvement with the heroin seized at the airport or any heroin located at the premises upon his arrest. Up until his arrest in Indonesia, Australian and Indonesian police did not know the identity of the “dark skinned man”. Indonesian police speculated that Sukumaran was Chan’s bodyguard, because they were always together.
After a criminal trial, Myuran Sukumaran was sentenced on 14 February 2006 by the Denpasar District Court to execution by firing squad. After lodging an appeal against his sentence, Sukumaran’s appeal was initially dismissed by the Bali High Court. A judicial review conducted by the Indonesian Supreme Court on 6 July 2011 affirmed the death sentence. Sukumaran’s plea for clemency was rejected by the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo on 30 December 2014, and Sukumaran was expected to face execution, together with Chan. The execution was carried out on 29 April 2015.
- April, 17, 1981
- United Kingdom
- London, England
- April, 29, 2015
- Nusa Kambangan, Indonesia
Cause of Death
- execution by firing squad