Dangerous counterfeit vodka which could cause blindness and seizures is thought to have been sold in Chester .

The bootleg booze was ‘Chekov’-branded but found to contain high levels of methanol, which is ‘extremely poisonous’ and can cause organ failure and death in extreme cases.

Trading Standards said the vodka was ‘thought to have been sold in the Halton and Chester areas’.

The fake product is a counterfeit version of the genuine Chekov brand sold by Booker Wholesale.

A Halton Trading Standards spokesman said: “We are warning the public not to purchase or consume this product as it poses a serious risk to public health.

“Genuine Chekov vodka has a black ink jet-printed lot mark on the red bottle cap and can be purchased in reputable shops and off licences.

Related: Dogs help police officers crack down on illegal tobacco in Chester

“The counterfeit product does not contain the black lot mark on the cap and is likely to have been offered for sale through illegitimate sources.

“Consumers should only purchase alcohol from a reputable supermarket, off license or shop”.

The bootleg alcohol and tobacco were seized from a vehicle in Runcorn during a joint operation between police and Halton Trading Standards.

A subsequent search of an address in the town uncovered more counterfeit booze.

Investigations by the local authority had suggested the products were sold throughout the wider north west.

Related: Chester phone shop owner ordered to pay £47,000 after selling counterfeit goods

Anybody with information concerning the sale of counterfeit alcohol and tobacco can report it to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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