View Comments
IBO World Title boxing match between Danny Green and Manny Siaca at Challenge Stadium , Perth . Pictured is Ivan Jack Marinovich (sp?) arriving. 14th April 2010  Pic: Ian Munro / The West Australian  ***FAIRFAX ONLINE OUT***
The West Australian IBO World Title boxing match between Danny Green and Manny Siaca at Challenge Stadium , Perth . Pictured is Ivan Jack Marinovich (sp?) arriving. 14th April 2010 Pic: Ian Munro / The West Australian ***FAIRFAX ONLINE OUT***

A notorious convicted cannabis grower of the 1980s has made a $1 million investment in marine safety technology company Mobilarm.

Ivan Jack Marinovich, of Balcatta, emerged yesterday as a substantial shareholder in Mobilarm after buying 20 million shares in the WA-registered company on January 7.

The plunge via Mr Marinovich's company Greywood Holdings instantly made him one of the small cap's biggest shareholders with a 7 per cent stake.

Mobilarm's share price has more than doubled this month, closing at 8.5� yesterday after hitting 9.5� earlier in the day.

The company now has a market capitalisation of $40.6 million.

Mr Marinovich, 69, was jailed for a total of seven years and five months in the late 1980s for convictions over cultivation and possession of cannabis. A judge also gave him an eight-year term for a heroin possession conviction, which was quashed on appeal.

Mobilarm is marketing around the world an escape beacon it developed for submariners. The US Navy has tested the product.

Mobilarm's board is chaired by David Marshall, British inventor of the Seamarshall personal locator beacon, and includes a former senior Royal Navy officer, vice-Admiral Sir Tim McClement.

Last year chief executive and significant shareholder Ken Gaunt cut jobs and moved most of its operations from Perth to the United Kingdom. The company recorded a $1.5 million loss in the past financial year.