A court in the north-central province of Nghe An handed down five death penalties and one life sentence at the close of a major drug smuggling trial on Saturday.
According to the indictment, between March and July 2012, a drug smuggling ring led by Nguyen Cong Hai, 54, of Quy Hop District, successfully traded in 255 bricks of heroin weighing around 90 kilograms.
Hai and his accomplices brought the drugs from Laos to Nghe An and then smuggled them to northern and southern provinces for sale.
On July 31, Nghe An police arrested Vu Duc Manh, 49, a gang member, while he was carrying 30 bricks of heroin at the Vinh Train Station in Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An.
Police arrested five female members of the gang afterwards.
At the end of the trial Saturday, Manh and four of the women -- namely Truong Thi Hue, 38, Nong Thi Han, 37, Nguyen Hoai Thu, 33, and Nguyen Thi Chau, 45 -- were sentenced to death.
Another woman named Nguyen Thi Nhung, 37, was sentenced to life.
The gang's alleged ringleader Hai, is still at large and is currently wanted by police.
Hai and the six defendants are all relatives.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. According to its Penal Code, those convicted of smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs can be sentenced to death.