State media say a Vietnamese court has sentenced five people to death for dealing heroin, lengthening the country's list of condemned criminals even as it struggles to obtain the chemicals needed to execute them.

Vietnam has not executed anyone since 2011, when it decided to switch from firing squads to lethal injection on humanitarian grounds.

But it has been unable to the chemicals needed because of an EU ban on its factories exporting drugs used in lethal injections.

The state-run Vietnam News Agency said Tuesday that three men and two women were convicted Monday in northern province of Bac Giang for dealing in 78 kilograms of heroin. Four other people were convicted of the same charges last week, and there are currently more than 500 people on death row.