A court in Vietnam has condemned five men to death for operating an illegal drug ring that trafficked nearly eight kilograms of narcotics.
The trial of Nguyen Duc Chom, 59, Pham Van Khang, 31, Ta Van Cuong, 32, Pham Van Thanh, 38, and Vu Dinh Hai, 48, was conducted at the People's Court in north-central Nghe An Province on Wednesday.
Chom, Khang, Cuong, and Thanh hail from northern Hai Duong Province, while Hai is a Hanoi resident.
The indictment showed that Chom was the leader of the racket.
On March 26, Chom directed Cuong and Khang to travel to Nghe An Province to buy 5.8 kilograms of drugs from an unidentified man at US$35,000.
The two were later arrested by Nghe An police on their way back after making the purchase.
On May 7, Hai and Thanh received a similar order from Chom.
The two traveled in an automobile from Hanoi to Nghe An and purchased about two kilograms of narcotics at $25,000.
The scheme was once again busted by officers in the north-central province.
As police officers approached, the suspects tried to escape and throw away the drugs, but they were eventually apprehended.
Police expanded their investigation and captured Chom in August.
The ring members claimed they had planned to resell the drugs in northern localities.
At the trial, all five defendants were given the death penalty for illicitly trading and possessing narcotics.