LONDON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Pimps sold a young woman as a sex slave in broad daylight on Britain's busiest shopping thoroughfare, London's Oxford Street, police say.
The transaction was caught on surveillance as an Albanian brothel owner paid 3,000 pounds ($4,880) for the Lithuanian woman, and police swooped down and rescued her, Britain's Daily Mail reported. Her three captors eventually were sentenced to 63 years in prison.
But the woman was one of the lucky ones, the report said. If not freed, she would have been expected to have sex as many as 25 times a day to earn her "owner" 100,000 pounds ($162,707) a year.
The British Home Office estimates in 2003, the most recent year for which figures are available, 4,000 women were trafficked into the United Kingdom for prostitution, the Daily Mail said, and police say the numbers of Eastern Europeans being trafficked into the country will grow significantly prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Daily Mail said a special police squad has been set up to tackle the trafficking.
Police say they released the photo of the woman being trafficked on Oxford Street in a bid to raise awareness of the problem.