The trade in the human trafficking of foreign women to be sexually exploited in the UK is worth at least £130 million, a Home Office report suggests.
The annual revenue generated by one female sex worker was estimated as £48,000, which would make the market worth tens of millions of pounds.
Organised crime was responsible for all such trafficking, the report said.
A study of the problem carried out in 2009 identified 2,600 foreign women in England and Wales who were victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
A further 9,200 were identified as vulnerable to being trafficked or may have been trafficked previously.
The report, entitled Understanding Organised Crime: Estimating the Scale and the Social and Economic Costs, warned that the £130 million figure was likely to be an underestimate.
It estimated the social and economic costs of the problem at £890 million.
The authors wrote: “The suffering caused by human trafficking is extensive.”
The total social and economic costs of organised crime in general were estimated to be at least £24 billion per year.
This includes the trade in the supply of illicit drugs, whose social and economic costs are estimated at £10.7 billion, and organised fraud, which is thought to cost the UK £8.9 billion.
The damage caused by organised child sexual exploitation was valued at £1.1 billion.
The report said: “Law enforcement partners, as part of their work to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups, often seek to seize criminal assets and deny offenders the benefit of their illegal activities.
“Estimates of the scale of these markets will support law enforcement partners in assessing the breadth and depth of their engagement with different organised crime types.”
The immigration minister Mark Harper warned last year that there were “not enough” prosecutions of those who had trafficked people into the UK for the sex trade or slave labour.
He described human trafficking as “an atrocious crime that requires a strong and robust approach, both from within the UK and internationally.”
A 2012 report found that most of the victims came from China, Vietnam and Eastern Europe.