TRUSTEES of Hong Kong lawyer Gary Alderdice, murdered in Vladivostok last week, have launched an investigation into his bank accounts and financial affairs. The inquiry follows claims he had up to US$150,000 in cash with him when he was killed. Solicitors will examine the ''paper trail'' of when, where and how he withdrew money, how much it was and what it was used for. The task is expected to be an onerous one because of Alderdice's punting habits which often involved a large turnover of cash. However, it may be the only means of tracing the final months of his life. Alderdice and his Russian lover, Natalia Samoflavoa, were found dead in a Vladivostok apartment last week. Samoflavoa had been tortured and shot in the head. The former Queen's Counsel had been in financial difficulty before he was murdered, cutting short his stay at the luxury Westin Resort in Macau by two weeks because he was worried he would not be able to pay the bill, a source at the resort said yesterday. ''He didn't want to work any more, or at least for a while. He said he was not looking forward to going back to Hong Kong because he didn't feel that he was cut out any longer to be a courtroom stiff in a pin-striped suit. ''He said he was in Macau because he was sick of people asking him how he was and offering to help him, and he wanted to be away from it all. ''He said: 'I don't know how I'm going to pay the bill here, I'm going to have to return to Hong Kong to do some work because I can't afford to stay another two weeks','' the source said. After a month in Macau with Samoflavoa, friends said Alderdice looked tanned and fit, but was no longer interested in his legal career. He had spent the month jogging, swimming, golfing and reading. The Westin's assistant manager, Paulo Goncalves, said Samoflavoa was not registered as a guest at the hotel but she and Alderdice lived in Room 705 for over a month. Police sources believed Samoflavoa had worked in the popular China City nightclub - a venue frequented by other Russian prostitutes. About four agencies recruit between 30 and 50 women Vladivostok every few months as ''public relations officers'' through a well-organised syndicate in the Russian city. The women enter into legal contracts and are issued legal employment visas by Macau authorities. A Macau source said the women hired minders to protect them when they took the cash they had earned in Macau back to Vladivostok. Gary Plowman QC, a close friend of Alderdice and a fellow New Zealander, said he did not believe Alderdice would have carried large amounts of cash with him. ''But, it was not unusual for him to have large amounts of cash available in his accounts because he didn't invest in shares or property, he kept all his money in cash,'' Mr Plowman said. The travel agent who arranged the flight to Vladivostok for Alderdice and Samoflavoa said the tickets were booked personally by Alderdice. However, the Hong Kong agent, whose company specialises in travel to Russia, said the two bookings were made on separate occasions and well in advance. ''He paid us in advance for accommodation in Vladivostok so he could be issued with a visa, but he told us he would not stay at the hotel because he would be staying with his girlfriend,'' the agent said. It is understood that Michael Lunn, the head of Alderdice's chambers, is to arrive in Vladivostok today to formally identify the body.