The amount of bootleg beer confiscated over the past year is the equivalent of more than 18 million cans of alcohol.

With the price of a pub pint now £2.75, Scottish Labour MP Cathy Jamieson obtained figures showing illegal beer seized because of unpaid duty rose by 127% in the last financial year.

The volumes held by customs officers and the UK Border Force rose from 4,128,660 litres in 2009/10 to 9,369,728 in 2012/13, equal to 18.7 million 500ml cans.

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, chairman of the all-party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, blamed the rise on higher bar prices. "That pushes people to drinking cheaper alcohol at home but also there is the danger of people seeking to engage in criminal importation of alcohol," he said.

He added: "The more we lose pubs, the more we see the loss of that social and convivial culture and community atmosphere, and the more we see alcohol being exploited for criminal purposes."