A senior mainland central bank official has expressed dismay over the lack of law enforcement against money laundering, particularly when its affluent eastern regions had become a gateway for illicit money. Tang Xu, director of the People's Bank of China's anti-money-laundering bureau, said few people had been tried for the crime despite the introduction of a new law 10 years ago. PBOC, the sole mainland watchdog dealing with the criminal activity, uncovered 1,239 cases of illicit money flow involving 362.6 billion yuan last year, but most of the perpetrators were convicted of tax evasion, embezzlement or abuse of the financial system instead of money laundering. Mr Tang said the central bank had little say over judicial matters, but would be more vocal in the future over the enforcement of the law against money laundering. The central bank set up the anti-money-laundering bureau in 2003, but Mr Tang admitted his agency was ill-equipped to tackle concerns about hot money. The bank official said the eastern regions such as Jiangsu province were particularly prone to money laundering because of the large amount of cash that changed hands. He urged the public to come forward with information about illicit money supplies and promised that all input would be confidential. The government said last month that financial organisations would need to check clients' identity documents when they deposited or withdrew more than 50,000 yuan from next month. Documents would be kept for at least five years. Clients would also need to register and provide identity documents for any currency exchange and cash remittance service of more than 10,000 yuan or US$1,000.