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Heavy loads are carried by women each day between Spain and Morocco to exploit a tax loophole.

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A man ties a package on the back of a Moroccan woman as she crosses the 'Barrio Chino' border crossing point between Melilla and Morocco in Melilla, Spain.

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Moroccan women wait with their packages at the 'Barrio Chino' border crossing point between Melilla, Spain and Morocco.

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Hundreds of women, known as Porteadoras or Mule women of Melilla, carry heavy bales of goods across the border between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco, for merchants every day.

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The job for most is a last resort and is usually carried out by widows, divorcees and wives with husbands who are unable to work, many of which are older or ailing.

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A tax loophole means any hand-carried packages taken across the border into Morocco is considered luggage and is duty-free.

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According to the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco more than 1.4 billion worth of goods are carried across the border of of 'El Barrio Chino by the women each year.

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Some of the women can make up to two or three trips per day earning about 3-4 euros per trip, carrying loads up to 80kg.

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A Moroccan woman pushes a package on her skateboard as she crosses the 'Barrio Chino' border crossing point between Melilla, Spain and Morocco.

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A woman travels through the 'Barrio Chino' border crossing point between Melilla, Spain and Morocco .

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A Moroccan woman carries a package on her back as she crosses the 'Barrio Chino' border crossing point between Melilla, Spain and Morocco. The women are increasingly facing competition from unemployed men.

David Ramos/Getty Images

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