There has been a sharp increase in the seizures of potentially harmful counterfeit alcohol - while the amount of drugs recovered is well down on last year, according to the Revenue Commissioners. 

929 litres of alcohol were seized up until the end of November - a four-fold increase on the 232 litres for the whole of 2012.

Spirits, mainly vodka, accounted for the majority of seizures.

The Revenue Commissioners is warning of the health risks and dangers of buying cheap alcohol drinks and have urged publicans and consumers to only buy alcohol from reputable sources. 

Customs officers also recovered drugs worth over €17.6m in the first ten months of the year.

The haul is less than €63m for the same period in 2012 and just over €23m in 2011.

Ranked by street value, herbal cannabis topped the list with over 500 seizures between January and October worth an estimated €10.5m. This was followed by seizures of ecstasy, amphetamines, speed and heroin. 

Counterfeit tobacco and fashion goods estimated at €20m were also seized. 

Customs officers confiscated over €18m worth of illegal cigarettes and tobacco. 

Also seized were over €3m worth of counterfeit goods including fake Chanel handbags, UGG boots and Jimmy Choo shoes. 

Eleven seizures relating to products made from endangered species and plants were made. 

These included food supplements, coral and fashion accessories made from animal skin.