Police officers in Montreal and Laval raided dozens of home and businesses Wednesday morning, targeting a debit card fraud ring.

The RCMP says the alleged thieves were stealing debit card machines from businesses, then hacking into the computer processors in order to get information needed to produce counterfeit credit cards.

They suspect this group has stolen $100 million, and say they know there have been 22,000 victims and $7.7 million of confirmed fraud.

Sixty-one people are wanted for gangsterism, fraud, and identity theft. 45 people have been arrested so far.

During the raids police seized 12,000 counterfeit bank cards, dozens of card-reading terminals, along with $120,000 in cash.

Police say they've been pursuing this group for years, and first conducted raids against it in November 2010.

This has been one of the RCMP's largest operations involving bank card fraud, and the first time gangsterism charges have been laid in this kind of crime.

Officers say the network was split into different cells, with some responsible for stealing the terminals, others modified them, a third group made large withdrawals from ATMs and another group installed cloning devices at bank terminals.

The scheme involved stealing point-of-sale terminals just prior to closing and substitutiong them with a fake, modifying the real ones to copy data and PINs. The next morning a member of the gang would return and install the modified device.

"This takes about an hour to modify and they can do it in a car, in a van or they can do it at a hotel room, which is what they did in this file," said RCMP Staff Sgt. Yves Leblanc.

They also installed Bluetooth technology so that a few weeks later, data could be downloaded remotely, and used to clone cards.

Dozens of so-called "runners" were given lock boxes with the cards insid and were sent to various bank locations. They were then simultaneously given the combination to open the boxes and start using the cards in a high-tech bank robbery blitz.

"They visited 23 banks. They did 203 transactions and they were able to obtain $30,000, all in five minutes. This went on once, twice, sometimes three times a day. It went on maybe four or five times a week," said Leblanc.

Not a single customer lost money, however, confirmed the Canadian Bankers' Association.

"Customers have not lost money. They have been reimbursed totally by the banking industry, by each bank," said Jacques Hebert of the association.