A court in the northern province of Thai Nguyen sentenced five out of 29 drug trafficking defendants to death on Friday while sending another 11 to jail for life.
Thirteen other defendants were given penalties ranging from suspended sentences to 20 years in jail.
Nguyen Van Dua, 43, and four accomplices, who were found guilty of trading in some 16 kilograms of heroin between June, 2004 and February, 2006, were ordered to pay VND50-300 million (US$2,600-15,700) in fines each on top of their death sentences.
Among the defendants were Le Trung Tien, former prosecutor of Thai Nguyen People's Procuracy; Dinh Thi Hoa, former judge at the Thai Nguyen People's Court; Nguyen Van Dung, former deputy head of the provincial police drug squad (PC17); and Luong Tuan An, another official from PC17.
The former officials, who received the most lenient sentences of all involved, were convicted of taking bribes and acting as brokers in the drug trades.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin in Vietnam is punishable by death.