Taipei police on Friday detained six people after a man was stabbed to death, with initial investigations linking the incident to a dispute over money in an illegal drug operation.

Medical staff at the Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxiao Branch said that a man and a woman on Tuesday drove a man surnamed Lin (林), who was bleeding profusely, to its emergency ward.

He died the following day, with medical staff reporting 16 knife wounds to his body, including one that punctured his heart.

Medical staff said that the two who carried Lin into the ward refused to give their names or other information, saying that they saw Lin by the side of the road while driving by and were just trying to save his life.

They departed soon afterward, staff said.

After reviewing surveillance video and tracing the car, the driver was linked to the case, police said.

Lin was a 41-year-old street vendor who had convictions for illegal sales of narcotics packed in coffee powder pouches, Nangang (南港) Precinct deputy chief Hu Yu-ling (胡幼麟) said.

Five men and one woman have been detained over alleged involvement in an illegal drug trade with Lin that led to a dispute over money before Lin’s death, Hu said.

The six face charges of murder and robbery, along with breaches of the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例), he said.

Lin was apparently called to a meeting on Monday night by a group of people he had sold drugs to, Hu said.