MONTREAL -- Quebec Provincial Police have questioned 17 people of interest and conducted property searches relating to the breach of personal information of 2.9 million Desjardins Group members.

The QPP said it met 91 witnesses in Quebec City, Montreal and Laval earlier this week in the Portier investigation, which concerns the data leak of 2.7 million individuals and 173,000 businesses that were Desjardins customers.

These meetings led the police force to question Thursday the 17 people of interest in addition to conducting six searches -- four residences and two businesses -- and seizing computer equipment.

More than 200 police and a dozen civilian members took part in this vast operation, according to the statement.

After the data leaked was revealed in June, the provincial police announced the creation of an integrated investigation team including police in the Quebec cities of Laval, Montreal, Quebec City and Levis.

Desjardins, a Quebec-based co-operative, said a single employee was responsible for the breach that was detected in December 2018, and has since been fired.